Both Australia and India have recognised the opportunity that emergent India offers Australia for trade, investment and research partnerships. Such research-based collaborations are dominated by funding opportunities provided through government-to-government bilateral programs. Collaboration with India led to the establishment of a dedicated funding scheme, the Australia India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) in 2006, which was increased to $50 million in 2009.
Not surprisingly, international collaboration between India and other countries, sponsored by other national governments, is also growing strongly. These collaborations recognise India’s untapped research and development capabilities, leading to India being referred to as a ‘sleeping giant’ in science and technology. A suite of bilateral funding agreements now link India’s science to many national scientific communities around the world. Collaboration with India can be seen as another investment in innovation capacity, with collaborative research and development projects raising the possibility of shared innovation, shared intellectual capital and subsequent wealth generation. In the context of Australia-India collaboration, there is much need for analysis and evaluation of the outcomes of collaborative projects.
The Science and Technology Task Force will examine lessons learned from collaborative projects from researchers and government and identify evidence-based recommendations for further initiatives to stimulate collaboration and innovation between Australia and India in the field of science and technology.