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New exchange programme for scientists

A new scientist exchange programme will allow approximately 25 scientists to participate in exchange visits between India and Denmark every year.

When it comes to scientific talent, India is increasingly being perceived as a global superpower. A population of 1.3 billion, more than 500 universities and more than 12 million students undoubtedly serve as a cradle for talent. With this in mind, Novozymes and the Holck-Larsen Foundation have joined forces to work with Danish universities to set up a scientist exchange programme between India and Denmark.

GS Krishnan, regional president-India , Novozymes South Asia, elaborates to say that while there is growing awareness about the sustainable industrial biotechnology in India, it needs further support to grow to its full potential. He adds to say that scientific collaboration is the good fit, given India’s scientific talent and Denmark’s expertise in the area of biotechnology . “This programme will help to give the scientists a global perspective and foster innovation and collaboration between the two countries in this significant area.”

The programme will focus on the projects in the field of advanced technological applications/industrial biotechnology. According to Krishnan, there is a strong potential especially for industrial biotechnology solutions in emerging economies like India due to the increasing concern around the environment and climate change issues and the recognition of the need for more sustainable solutions. Will Denmark enhance the experience for Indian scientists? Denmark , says Krishnan, has done good work in the area of sustainable biotechnology. On the other hand, he informs, industrial biotechnology, while it holds huge potential for India, is still in its nascent stage.

“We live at a time when resources are becoming scarce, populations and consumption are growing , and climate change and food security are growing concerns on the political agenda. The need for more sustainable solutions and green growth is obvious. Industrial bio-solutions can help India achieve more efficient use of raw materials , reduce energy consumption, strengthen food and energy security, replace harsh chemicals with more sustainable alternatives and offer higher-quality products. For instance, enzymes can replace many of the harsh chemicals used in some of the most polluting industries,” says Krishnan.

This scientific collaboration aims to further provide exposure to the scientists in India in the field of advanced technological application by giving them an international work experience. The programme will further strengthen connections between Danish and Indian professors/labs and foster innovation. The programme will run from 2013 to 2019, and each year it will allow approximately 25 scientists to participate in exchange visits between India and Denmark. The funds will be managed by the Technical University of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University.

At a glance – India-Denmark collaboration

How does one apply?

Danish Technical University, University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University will collaborate with Indian universities. Identified Indian universities would forward applications to the Danish university. The Danish university, based on the applications received from the universities, will make a prioritised list of scientists who are considered eligible for grants

Eligibility criteria: The programme will focus on exchange of PhD students, but may also include exchange of Master’s students, postdoctorates and senior scientists. Candidates must have excellent scientific skills and a global mindset enabling them to thrive in a foreign culture. Scientists must work in the field of biotechnology — specifically, the study of advanced technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives for industrial or scientific use, excluding technology for pharma applications. (TOI)

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