J. Webb

University of Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)
As India emerges ever more prominently onto the world stage, countries, research institutions and corporates from around the globe are establishing programs of collaboration with India in the field of science, technology and innovation. Crucial contributions from India to this Century's knowledge-based economies are widely anticipated.

In the case of Australia, this growing collaboration has emerged from an in-depth analysis of where Australia's future opportunities for innovation lie, published by the Prime Minister's Science Engineering and Innovation Council in 2006. Critical political commitment has come from the desire to raise the Australia - India relationship to the level of a strategic partnership. Thus, the 2006 signing of a substantial bilateral agreement to establish the Australia India Strategic Research Fund committed the Australian Government to provide $20million over five years, with the Indian Government providing matching funding. This fund was more than doubled, to $50million over five years, in late 2009. Critically, these two agreements were approved during visits to India by two different Australian Prime Ministers, from opposite sides of the political divide. The first round of grants awarded have now run their course.

This paper will assess the origins, status and outcomes of the Fund as well as suggest future opportunities and modalities for science, technology and innovation collaboration between Australia and India. This experience is expected to have relevance to a wide audience as many countries and global institutions establish or plan to establish collaborative ventures with Indian partners in the broad domain of science, technology and, especially, innovation.