India and the European Union (EU) on Monday signed an agreement on cooperation in hi-tech areas such as climate modelling and quantum technologies, building on the Trade and Technology Council launched by the two sides earlier this year, reports the Hindustan Times.
The ‘Intent of Cooperation on High Performance Computing (HPC), Weather Extremes and Climate Modelling and Quantum Technologies’ was signed by the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) during a virtual ceremony.
The agreement signed on Monday is aimed at facilitating collaboration on high performance computing applications using Indian and European supercomputers in areas such as bio-molecular medicines, Covid-19 therapeutics, mitigating climate change, predicting natural disasters and quantum computing, the statement said.
The agreement was signed by MeitY secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma and DG CONNECT director general Roberto Viola.
Sharma said high performance computing is tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and the demand for such systems is increasing rapidly in various domains. Under this partnership, India and the EU will leverage expertise from both sides to optimise high performance computing towards developing advanced technology solutions in multiple fields.
Viola said combining the experience and expertise of India and the EU, and building on long-standing cooperation and trust can “help one another overcome the greatest challenges of our age, Covid-19 and climate change”. The agreement will also allow the two sides to jointly explore the frontiers of quantum technologies, he said.
The India-EU TTC is a strategic mechanism that gives New Delhi access to advanced technologies and allows the two sides to set standards in crucial areas such as 5G and artificial intelligence. This is the first such trade and technology council set up by India with any of its partners. For the EU, it is only the second such body, following the first one set up with the US.