by Tom Williamson
The goal of EU-funded Euro-India SPIRIT project managed by ERCIM, is to formulate between the EU and Indian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) stakeholders a mutually beneficial research and innovation agenda which can be taken up through specific bilateral initiatives. With this specific goal in mind, Euro-India SPIRIT invited the Indian ICT expert Abhishek Sharma to the ICT Proposers’ Day at Budapest in May 2011. The aim was to facilitate an enabling environment for Abhishek to familiarise himself with the variety of ICT areas in which collaboration is possible, to learn about the technical and administrative aspects of being involved in FP7 projects, and to network with prospective project partners.
Abhishek Sharma is the Chairman and CEO of NetEdge Tele-Solutions, an Indian SME which develops mobile applications and provides telecom value-added and associated services. Clients of NetEdge include Vodafone and Idea Cellular, major mobile phone service providers in India. Thus, Abhishek brought with him to Budapest a network of Indian ICT operators. In addition, Abhishek is a mobile value-added-services, applications and content consultant with rich experience in operations, project management and consulting roles in the telecom/IT domains. His wide range of experience and ability to engage with a variety of research priorities as well as his extensive network and ability to disseminate/act as a focal point made him an ideal Indian partner at the event.
Abhishek was accompanied over the course of the event by Ashok Kar, Infra Technologies, one of the European project partners of Euro-India SPIRIT and Tom Williamson, ERCIM, project coordinator of Euro-India SPIRIT.
The delegation arrived at the Hungexpo centre in Budapest with a packed agenda for the two days’ sessions. Meetings covered a complete cross-section of attendees both European and non-European, private industry, academics, National Contact Points (NCPs) and Commission officials.
Abhishek was also taken to sessions of particular interest, eg cloud computing, international cooperation and mobility. These proved very stimulating and useful for Abhishek, and a number of potential link-ups were identified for follow-up. The delegation also attended the session on FP7 rules and proposal-making to give a flavour of the administrative requirements involved.
While the results of such an event , from the perspective of the Euro-India SPIRIT project, will be judged over time in links maintained and stregthened, the initial aim of familiarisation with ICT proposals was more than met over the course of the event and it is hoped that Abhishek will be amongst the first of many future Indian attendees and proposers in the years to come.