by Ashok Kar, Nick Ferguson and Florence Pesce
The Euro-India ICT Cooperation Initiative (‘EUROINDIA’) is a Support Action under the Seventh Framework Programme. This initiative aims to reinforce collaborative research and innovation activities between Indians and Europeans in ICT domains and challenges targeted in the EU’s FP7. EuroIndia organized a series of events in India during August and was also invited to conduct a thematic session within the eIndia Conference.
The first Information Day was held in Chennai on 25 August at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) campus, with participants hailing from academia/research. The second was on 26 August in the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) premises in Hyderabad, and catered mainly for participants from industry. Both events offered participants a comprehensive understanding of FP7 (2007-2013) and the ICT Work programme 2009-10, with a particular focus on the Call 5 and how Indians can engage in research projects alongside European partners. EuroIndia representatives were also on hand to respond to specific individual questions.
From left: Nick Ferguson, Ashok Kar, Sudhanshu Rai, Florence Pesce, John Bosco Lourdusamy, Mogens Kuehn Pedersen at the Info Day Chennai on 25 August 2009 at the Indian Institute of Technology.
Chennai Brainstorming Session
A brainstorming session was held in Chennai on 25 August at the IIT campus with the support of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department. The discussion topic for participants – who were mostly academics and researchers – was e-learning, which is emerging as an innovative research area for ICT in India.
Professor Hema Murthy from the TeNet Lab at IIT Madras, who has pioneered rural ICT innovations through a combination of cutting-edge technology and creative content development, shared with participants her extensive experience of e-learning. Professor Murthy, despite having created a robust and scalable e-learning tool of immediate relevance to rural students, nevertheless painted a picture of disappointment. She lamented the absence of physical infrastructure to provide access to computers and communication equipment, and of a viable and scalable business model to enable rural youth to enter the mainstream equipped with education and employability.
The session closed after a rich debate on societal priorities and the consequent focus of e-learning innovations across the complementary objectives: curriculum-based learning, knowledge acquisition and employability.
EuroIndia Session at eIndia, Hyderabad
EuroIndia-ICT was a supporting partner of India's largest ICT Event, eIndia2009, held in Hyderabad, India, 25-27 August 2009. During the past twenty months, EuroIndia has developed a knowledge-mapping study methodology and has catalogued publicly reported ICT innovations in India over the period 2003-2007.
Prof. Mogens Kuehn Pedersen from the Copenhagen Business School opened the session, which deliberated on the results of the mapping modules, focusing on key emerging trends and putting them in perspective with the EU’s research and innovation trends in ICT. Dr. Sudhanshu Rai, Copenhagen Business School, then led a discussion on the management of innovation. Raj Datta, CKO Mindtree Consulting, shared his insights on challenges surrounding innovation in India, while innovation in the e-learning sector and views on integrating ICT technology into education in India were presented by Ashish Garg, Asia Regional Coordinator - Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative. Finally, Ranjan Malik, partner in Erehwon Innovation Consulting, presented the challenges and opportunities in managing innovation in ICT firms in India. These presentations are available on the EuroIndia portal. The workshop was attended by over 30 participants.
Upcoming Events: EuroIndia International Conference
The final EuroIndia International conference will be hosted by the International Management Institute on 10-11 December 2009 in New Delhi . The event will be divided into three sections:
• Presentation of the findings of the two-year extensive mapping conducted across India. Thematic strengths and trends will be developed by experts from India and Europe.
• Presentation of international academic papers on ICT innovations, focusing on collaborative endeavours between the EU and emerging economies, especially India.
• An exhibition in which some of the Indian enterprises and organizations revealed through the EuroIndia knowledge mapping will showcase their innovations and seek to develop collaborative ventures and projects with the EU.
The EUROINDIA project is coordinated by the Department of Informatics at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. ERCIM is a partner in this project.
Florence Pesce, ERCIM Office