11th April 2017 Delhi, India
Exploring opportunities in marine science and technology
The Indian Ocean region is abundant with resources, particularly in the sectors of fisheries, aquaculture, ocean energy, sea-bed mining and minerals. Oceans have immense potential that needs to be harnessed in a balanced manner, where its preservation and health are given their due importance.
The UK has world-leading strengths in marine technologies (robotics and autonomous systems, sensors, data analytics). This creates an opportunity for UK and India to explore working together and implementing new international policy initiatives that require ocean measurements, impact of climate change on oceans and its resources including marine health.
With this strong background, both the country’s science ministers at the bilateral Science and Innovation Council (SIC) meeting agreed to explore collaborative opportunities in oceans as a broader theme in 2016-17.
As part of the commitment made at SIC, an outward mission was organised by Science and Innovation Network (SIN) India in February 2017 and led by National Oceanography Centre. The outcomes of the mission were:
- in-depth analysis of marine science and technological landscape in India
- 10 areas of potential collaborations
- facilitating new and strengthening existing informal linkages between Indian and the UK marine science and technology researchers.
The 4 days, 4 cities visit itinerary included various interactions with:
- Ministry of Earth Sciences and India Meteorological Department in Delhi
- National Institute of Oceanography and National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research in Goa,
- National Institute of Ocean Technology in Chennai
- Indian National Centre For Ocean Information Services in Hyderabad.
Mission from UK comprised of:
- Professor Kevin James Horsburgh, Head of Liverpool Institute for Sustainable Coasts and Oceans, National Oceanography Centre
- Dr Mark James, Operations Director, Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland
- Professor Stephen de Mora, Chief Executive, Plymouth Marine Laboratory/PML Applications Ltd
- Dr Peter Edward Robins, Research Fellow, Centre for Applied Marine Sciences, Bangor University
- Dr James Asa Strong, Senior Benthic Ecologist and Seabed Surveyor, University of Hull.
Both the Indian and UK experts had detailed discussions based on UK and India’s opportunities and challenges and 10 areas of potential collaboration have been identified to provide a steer:
- Hydrodynamic modelling
- Ecosystem modelling
- Habitat mapping
- Ocean Acidification
- Coastal monitoring
- Climate change impact
- Marine renewable energy
- Cyber-physical system
The UK and India both see the Oceans as holding strong potential for future growth and international co-operation (G20). Both have strong infrastructure to pursue this growth. This is an opportunity to facilitate alignment, opening up greater opportunities for collaboration and potentially new markets for innovation in this area.
The Newton Bhabha Fund will examine the possibility of supporting new collaborations in this field in coming years and will continue to generate links between the UK and Indian science communities following this visit.