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India, US commit to strengthening bilateral collaboration in areas of climate and clean energy

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Bengaluru: The United States-India Science & Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF), in partnership with Social Alpha, announces a call for Ignition Grants titled Technology-based Energy Solutions: Innovations for Net Zero to select and support new technologies that address climate change and clean energy challenges. 

Climate Change is one of the biggest challenges facing our world today, spurring the call for global collaborations to tackle this crisis.  The launch of the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership in April 2021 reiterated the commitment of both nations to work together to achieve their ambitious climate and clean energy targets and to strengthen bilateral collaborations.

The “Technology-based Energy Solutions: Innovations for Net Zero” program addresses the pressing need for solutions that leverage cutting-edge, disruptive clean energy technologies to accelerate progress toward net zero.   The program aligns with the goals of the U.S.-India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership and will be administered by the bi-national Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).

The objective of the Ignition Grants program is to identify and support “technology showstoppers” – promising joint U.S.-India S&T based entrepreneurial initiatives that address the development and implementation of new technologies, tools, and systems that tackle climate and clean energy challenges in the areas of Next generation Clean and Renewable Energy, Energy Storage and Carbon Sequestration.

The Program was formally launched by the USISTEF Co-Chairs, Mr. Sanjeev Varshney, Adviser & Head, International Bilateral Cooperation, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Mr. John Speaks, Minister Counselor for Energy, Environment, Science and Technology (Acting), U.S. Embassy, New Delhi. In his remarks, Mr. Varshney highlighted the spirit of entrepreneurship and said “The role of collaboration in Science and technology to deliver innovative solutions to address a global challenge is appreciable. A good demonstrable technology innovation to address a specific challenge in the focus areas having a commercial viability is expected under the partnership of IUSSTF with Social Alpha”. Mr. Speaks remarked “USISTEF’s new initiative targeting innovations for net zero is another example of the robust U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.  It shows the United States and India working together to trigger the development of new joint clean energy technologies to address the urgent climate crisis”.

Speaking of the Ignition Grants Progam, Mr. Manoj Kumar, Founder & CEO, Social Alpha, said, “Breakthrough technologies can accelerate the planet’s transition to net-zero emissions. However, they need institutional support for solution development, pilots and deployment. We have to grow the innovation pipeline at an unprecedented pace and invest heavily to reduce green premiums on critical clean technologies and attract entrepreneurial talent to create new markets and industries. This is the only way we can transition to Net Zero, while making sure everyone has access to clean, affordable and reliable energy.” Dr. Nandini Kannan, Executive Secretary USISTEF and Executive Director IUSSTF said “Achieving the ambitious climate and clean energy goals laid out in the U.S. India 2030 Partnership requires the creation of an ecosystem that fosters and supports S&T-based innovation, and encourages partnerships.  Technology-based Energy Solutions: Innovations for Net Zero is a Call to Action, urging the Entrepreneur and Research communities in India and the United States to come together and develop transformative solutions to tackle critical climate and sustainability challenges.”

A panel of experts discussed the critical role of stakeholders, including Industry, Academia. Financial institutions, Government Agencies, Policy and Foundations, in the development of an enabling ecosystem to address clean energy and sustainability challenges.  Speakers included Ms. Seema Paul, Program Director, Sequoia Climate Fund, Mr. Prashanth Prakash, Founding Partner, Accel, Dr. Praveer Sinha, CEO, Tata Power and Dr. William Tumas, Associate Laboratory Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory. .

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