Cooperation on research and innovation is a cross-cutting and integral part of the EU-India Strategic Partnership as reflected in the Roadmap 2025, which includes some 20 actions on research and innovation.
Europe’s Global Approach to research and innovation foresees stepping up cooperation with India to address together global challenges and support India’s sustainable modernisation process.
The relaunch of the free trade negotiations (FTA), the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA), the Agreement on Geographic Indications (GIA) and the implementation of the connectivity partnership, all show strong momentum in the EU-India Strategic Partnership and mirror India’s economic achievements and ambitions.
The Trade and Technology Council (TTC) with India launched in 2023 is the latest and strongest demonstration of our political will to step up our engagement with India. The TTC consists of three Working Groups. Working Group 2 relating to Green and Clean Energy with a focus on research and innovation cooperation, standards and investments, aims at facilitating trade in these technologies. DG Research and Innovation co-chairs Working Group 2 together with the Principal Scientific Advisor Office of India.
Science and Technology Agreements and Arrangements
The EU-India cooperation on research and innovation is governed by the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation signed in 2001, renewed for a further 5 years on 17 May 2020. Oversight is managed by a Joint Steering Committee co-chaired by the Director General of DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, and the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
The EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025 adopted at the EU-India Summit on 15 July 2020 identified actions on research and innovation to facilitate the implementation of ongoing sectoral dialogues and strengthen research and innovation cooperation notably on health research, digital technologies, green technologies, polar sciences, as well as on mobility of scientists and strengthening the innovation dimension of the partnership through connecting startups.
The EU-India Connectivity Partnership adopted on 8 May 2021, encourages both India and the EU to increase the two-way mobility of students and researchers under the People-to-People building block of the Connectivity Strategy with India.
The Commission has concluded Implementing Arrangements with the Indian Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and with the Indian Council on Social Sciences Research (ICSSR) facilitating short term mobility to be hosted by European Research Council grantees.
- Implementing Arrangement between the European Commission and the Indian Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and
- Implementing Arrangement between the European Commission and the Indian Council on Social Sciences Research (ICSSR)
On Euratom, 2 agreements have been concluded:
- European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of India in the field of fusion energy research signed in 2010
- European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the Government of India Agreement for research and development cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy - signed in July 2020
India is a member of the ITER project
Areas of cooperation
In line with the Global Approach, cooperation on healthcare, including resilience to health crises, just greening of the economy and striving for a human-centric digitalisation will be considered as priority areas for research and innovation cooperation. Cooperation to underpin the EU-India Connectivity Partnership, with a focus on mobility of researchers and innovators, and the Indo-Pacific strategy, by actions on the blue economy such as marine litter, will also be considered.
During the EU-India Leaders’ Meeting on 8 May 2021, both sides committed to step-up cooperation in research and innovation on the green transition, digital agenda and global health challenges
At the first TTC Ministerial meeting in Brussels on 16 May 2023, it was agreed to start the work on the following actions:
- waste water management, including plastic litter and waste to hydrogen
- recycling of batteries for e-vehicles
- interoperability of charging infrastructure for e-vehicle; and
- standards (both cross-cutting and thematic)
Cooperation and funding opportunities
Cooperation on research and innovation with India takes place through the EU’s research and innovation framework Programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027) based on calls of proposals open to participation of non-EU countries .
Most topics in Horizon Europe are open for cooperation with India and certain topics target or encourage the participation of Indian entities.
However, Indian participants are not automatically eligible for funding* by Horizon Europe and have to bring their own funding to the projects.
For details about the co-funding provided by the Government of India, see the Guide on the Complementary Funding mechanism
Indian researchers may of course also participate in Horizon Europe with other funding.
*In exceptional cases, the Commission or the relevant funding body may consider that the participation of a legal entity is essential for implementing the action (Article 23.2(b) of the Horizon Europe Regulation)
In addition, Indian entities are eligible for EU funding through the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions.
European Research Council
The European Research Council offers grants to researchers in all research domains for frontier research. Indian researchers are welcome to apply and if selected are eligible for funding to establish a research group in Europe.
Grants are available for researchers starting or consolidating their independent career and for advanced researchers. Synergy grants are also available, where a an Indian researcher may collaborate with at least 2 European researchers, with all funded by the ERC.
Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions
Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Offer fellowships for post-doctoral researchers from India (and other countries) to spend up to 2 years in a European group – or for European researchers to spend up to 2 years in a lab in India.
It also offers opportunities for Indian institutions to participate in Doctoral Training Networks and Staff Exchange consortia (Indian institutions are self-funded in DTNs and SE).
Project and results
National Contact Points
The National Contact Points (NCPs) provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe.
Research enquiry service
You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.
RTD-F-DIR-ASSISTec [dot] europa [dot] eu (DG Research and Innovation International Cooperation Directorate)
Euraxess India provides access to a complete range of information and support services for researchers in India wishing to pursue a research career in Europe or looking for collaboration opportunities.
- Press release
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, agreed to launch the EU-India Trade and Technology Council at their meeting in New Delhi
- News article
The ERC Consolidator Grants provide funding for excellent researchers with 7 to 12 years of post-PhD experience.