Indo-German Science Cooperation

India and Germany have deep strategic ties in science cooperation. Science remains an integral tool for diplomacy between the two countries, fostering rich people-to-people connections. The earliest Indo-German collaboration was between physicist Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein way back in 1924. Today, Germany is India’s second most important science and technology research partner. What’s Up, Germany? compiled the highlights of this special relationship.

mantri-ji“Science and technology cooperation between India and Germany is driven by a sense of confidence and purpose in achieving together ‘high quality’ and ‘high impact’ partnerships.”

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science &  Technology and Earth Sciences

IIT Madras founded with help
from Germany

In 1956, when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited what was then West Germany, he was offered assistance by the German government to establish a higher technological institute in India. The first Indo-German collaboration to set up the Indian Institute of Technology Madras was signed in 1959. It provided for the services of German professors and foremen, training facilities for 20 Indian faculty members and the supply of scientific and technical equipment for the establishment of the central workshop and 20 laboratories at IIT Madras.

A Unique Initiative

Established in 2010 by the Indian Department of Science & Technology (DST) and BMBF, the Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) is one-of-a-kind. It is the only bilateral R&D centre for promoting applied and industrial research that Germany has established with another country. Dedicated to funding research projects, IGSTC connects academia with industry with a view to develop new technologies and intellectual property in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, automotive engineering, embedded systems, renewable energy, food security, clean water and healthcare. At the third Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) held in New Delhi in 2015, India and Germany extended IGSTC’s tenure to 2022, with a twofold increase in funding, from ₹14.6 crore to ₹29 crore every year by each side. The centre is already supporting 15 joint projects, and prototypes of new technologies have been co-developed in the fields of solar thermal energy and  agricultural genomics.

1971 & 1974
History is Made 

The two Intergovernmental Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements signed in 1971 and 1974 laid the formal foundation of Indo-German cooperation in scientific research and technological development. Subsequently, there have been many pacts between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and various Indian ministries, as well as special exchanges between Indian and German research organisations.

A One-Stop Shop

The German House for Research and Innovation’s India office (DWIH New Delhi), created in 2012, is an umbrella organisation representing 15 German establishments in India, including research-funding institutions, research organisations and German universities. It is the largest consortium of DWIHs worldwide and aims to increase cooperation between Indian and German academic and scientific communities by facilitating bilateral projects in higher education, science and technology, research and innovation.

Germany Calling

In September 2016, Dr Harsh Vardhan visited Germany to inaugurate the India-centric synchrotron beamline facility at PETRA III on the Deutsche Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) campus in Hamburg. He also met his counterpart, Dr Johanna Wanka, German Minister for Education and Research, in Berlin. They reiterated their commitment to step up Indo-German collaboration in innovation, science and technology.