Since the start in 2012 the ISIA – program has introduced more than 60 Swedish Cleantech companies in India, resulting in over200 projects across India and five local subsidiaries thereby contributing towards Make in India and Clean India Programs. After two years of virtual delegation, the program has returned to the physical mode with nine Swedish companies travelling to India during 11-18 May 2022.
The ISIA program celebrated its tenth anniversary with an exclusive session at the Business Sweden office in New Delhi on May 10th, 2022.The session was attended by a host of senior officials from Indian and Swedish sides including Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the Embassy of Sweden, and the Swedish Energy Agency.
The session started with opening remarks from Ms. Cecilia Oskarsson, Trade Commissioner of Sweden to India, who mentioned ‘We have created a strong Sustainability ecosystem in India to promote joint research, innovation, co-creation, and expertise exchange in the area of Clean Energy, Air, Water, Smart grids, and other verticals as well. At our end, Business Sweden is taking continuous steps towards becoming a “sustainability catalyst” by 2025 with an ambition to promote green transition, sustainable growth, and responsible business practices. Under the defined theme of Pioneer, the Possible, we are also working towards the development and launch of India Sweden Green Transition Partnership, which will closely collaborate with the India Sweden Innovations Accelerator Program to enhance the pace of green transition across hard to abate sectors in India’.
Mr. Gautam Bhattacharyya, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Sweden highlighted that ‘Smart and clean energy solutions are necessary for our climate, our businesses, and our energy security. We both need to enhance our renewable energy capabilities but also find new ways of energy storage and increase our energy efficiency. These are the kinds of solutions Swedish companies can bring to large and important markets like India. Initiatives like the ISIA are therefore very important’.
On the occasion, Mr Ludvig Lindstrom, Country Manager, Swedish Energy Agency (SEA) talked about ‘The history of India Sweden Innovations Accelerator and Sustainability by Sweden showroom in India. He also talked about the upcoming R&D call between India and Sweden with focus on the circular economy. The call – “Indian Sweden Joint Call for Proposals within Circular Economy ” – has a total budget of MSEK 69 (Approx 7 MEur) co-financed by the Indian side. The programme is backed by five Swedish research agencies (the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova, Vinnova – Sweden’s Innovation Agency, Formas – the Swedish government research council for sustainable development, Forte – the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare and the Swedish Research Council)’.
From the Indian side, the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) are the responsible agencies for the research call.
Mrs Annika Nilsson, SEA shared the experiences about ‘How Sweden is working with climate city contracts as a way to accelerate climate transition. The cities involved commit to become climate neutral by 2030. This work is also closely connected to the EU Mission on climate-neutral and smart cities, in which Sweden has been recognised with 7 out of 100 cities within the EU’.
Ms Seema Arora, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry – ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CESD)said that, ‘Innovation at the Technology front is the enabler for sustainability. Innovation derives the better way of achieving the same or better output and continually improves the technology which in turn brings sustainability by conserving resources. It brings in a smarter way of doing things in existing operations and processes. The programme emphasizes this very fact by bringing Swedish innovations and matching them with Indian key stakeholders who need this’.
During the last ten years, the program has gradually contributed towards the development of Sustainability by Sweden ecosystem in India and has facilitated collaborations with leading industrial groups and Technology institutes in India. A facilitation ceremony was also held as part of the event for Industrial and Academic Partners to the Sustainability by Sweden Ecosystem which included Mahindra Group, TATA Power DDL, BSES Yamuna Power Limited, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
The session also included announcement of commercial partnerships between FOV Biogas and Green Root for setting up solar-biogas hybrid projects in collaboration with Tata Power DDL. Another Swedish company Modio also announced an agreement with an Indian partner in Western India to improve energy efficiency quotient across a leading hotel chain in India.
The India-Sweden Innovations Accelerator Program is an initiative with the purpose to bridge innovations and entrepreneurship between India and Sweden. ISIA was initiated in 2012 and is backed by the Swedish Energy Agency. Business Sweden and the Confederation of Indian Industries Green Business Centre are programme partners. ISIA has been recognized as the official program to promote green energy collaborations between India and Sweden as per the joint action plan signed in 2018.