Focus on India

Advisory letter: Focus on India - Advisory Letter on Dutch-Indian Collaboration in Science, Technology and Innovation

The Netherlands has a lot gain from enhanced collaboration with India on science, talent and innovation. India offers many opportunities, which can be better seized if the Dutch government, companies and knowledge institutes act more in concert towards India based on a clear strategy. This recommendation is made by the Dutch Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI) in its advisory letter ‘Focus on India’, which was presented to the Indian ambassador H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony.

“India is a rising power with a relatively young, increasing population”, explains AWTI chairman Mr. Uri Rosenthal. “Economically, the country has been making solid progress over a period of many years with currently an expected annual economic growth of about 7,5% of GDP. Equally, India is becoming a global player in the fields of science, technology and innovation. In a number of areas, it has become a global front-runner. Now it is time for the Dutch government to intensify the collaboration with India in order to jointly generate more knowledge and more innovation. This will benefit both countries in the areas of knowledge, trade and talent. The Netherlands can learn from neighbouring countries that already have enhanced their cooperation with India.”

The Indian ambassador H.E. Mr. Venu Rajamony warmly welcomes AWTI’s advisory letter: “India welcomes increased collaboration with the Netherlands in the field of knowledge and innovation. Both countries have significant strengths that can complement each other. Our collaboration in these fields would be of benefit not just to our countries but the entire world. We also welcome the emphasis in the letter on SMEs and encourage them to take greater interest in India. The Embassy stands ready to extend every assistance possible to Dutch business in this regard.”

To strengthen the collaboration between India and the Netherlands, AWTI makes several recommendations to the Dutch government, such as:

  • Focus on a few number of science and innovation areas of common interest and for which India and the Netherlands could reinforce each other, for example biotechnology, water management, pharmaceutical industry, electronics and ICT.
  • Good branding of the Netherlands as a ‘knowledge and innovation country’ in India. Equally, the Dutch should become more aware that India is a rising power.
  • Improve the visibility of the Netherlands in India, for example by combining trade and knowledge missions and stimulating better cooperation and coordination between Dutch stakeholders in their activities in or towards India.
  • Pay extra attention to the SME sector. For small and medium enterprises, doing business in India is often not easy. Good diplomatic support, organising targeted innovation missions, providing market studies or setting up living labs all help here.