NEW DELHI: Asserting that global challenges like COVID-19 call for global collaboration, an Indo-US science forum has invited proposals from scientists and engineers from the two countries to carry out joint research activities on the pandemic, leveraging existing infrastructure and funding.
As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that the science and tech community work together and share resources to address this global challenge, said a statement from the Department of Science and Technology (DS&T), one of the nodal partners of the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).
Applications for the proposals for 'COVID-19 Indo-US Virtual Networks', invited by IUSSTF, established under an agreement between the governments of India and the US in March 2000, will be accepted online from April 15 till May 15.
Science, engineering, and technology will play a critical role in finding solutions through the development of new vaccines, devices, diagnostic tools, and information systems, as well as strategies to help communities and nations manage and deploy resources to combat this pandemic, the DS&T said.
"Proposals that convincingly demonstrate the benefits and value of the Indo-US partnership to advance research and address critical challenges related to COVID-19 are encouraged," it added.
Global challenges like COVID-19 call for global collaborations and partnerships, bringing together the best and brightest scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to work together to find solutions not only to address the current pandemic but also for the challenges that lie ahead, the statement said.
The IUSSFT, it said, is booting such collaborations for this specific purpose in keeping with their core mandate to catalyse collaborative initiatives across both countries.
The IUSSTF is an autonomous organisation jointly funded by both the governments that promotes science, technology, engineering, and innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia, and industry.
India's Department of Science and Technology and the US Department of State are respective nodal departments.
"Doing research in the time of COVID-19 is globally bringing to the fore such elements as effective communication, collaboration, speed, translational and a general zeal for problem-solving.
Effective solutions that emerge are likely to be transnational," said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary in the DS&T.
IUSSTF, he noted, has had a history of developing relevant technologies through strong collaborations and is thus a good platform for the activity being launched.
Collaboration across nations and organisations can leverage and share expertise across S&T communities and facilitate the development of a diverse, globally-engaged science, engineering, and technology-abled workforce, which can proactively work towards solutions for the pandemic, it added.