G20 grouping should consider setting up a Virtual Digital Lab & Library as a platform to promote cross-border collaboration for R&D, knowledge transfer of technology best practices, a B20 India Task Force has recommended.
Sharing the broad contours of the 19 recommendations of the B20 India Task Force on Tech Innovation and R&D, its Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan on Friday said that this G20 Technology Collaboration platform is one of the two initiatives being proposed from India to Brazil (which will next hold G20 Presidency) to ensure continuity and scale up.
The other initiative being B20 Compendium of Best Practices on Innovation projects to be continued as an B20 feature. This compendium will be released on Saturday at the ongoing B20 India Summit 2023, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
About 170 people across the world participated in the work of this task force, whose main purpose was to encourage collaboration in R&D and innovation to build technology for sustainable development.
“The whole idea of a platform on R&D and technology is to see if we (India) can build one such collaborative platform and gift it to G20 countries. This can be a collaborative platform where people can put their ideas and challenges and other people can come and say this is how we can together solve it. People wanting funding also can put their requests for funding”, Gopalakrishnan told BusinessLine in an interview here.
Gopalakrishnan also said that preliminary discussions have been held with Brazil and “together we want to build this and there will be implementation when the Secretariat shifts to Brazil”.
INTERNET FOR ALL
This task force has identified four areas where its recommendations are centred—Digital Tech; Deep and Emerging Tech; Green Tech/Circular Economy and Foundational domains of influence.
In case of Digital Tech, besides a virtual Digital Lab & Library, the Task Force has called for collaboration among G20 countries, and information sharing, enabling “Internet for All”.
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It has also called for creation of an institutional mechanism for standardising the Protocols of Industry 4.0 with guidelines to accelerate technology transfer, said Gopalakrishnan, who is also the Chairman of Axilor Ventures and Co founder of Infosys Ltd.
DEEP and EMERGING TECH
In the case of Deep and Emerging Tech, the Task Force has recommended introduction of a G20 collaborating forum for Deep Tech advancement.
G20 should also constitute a collaboration body for technology driven Cancer research, the Task Force has suggested.
A recommendation to develop a centralised B20 Collaboration model on Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also been made, Gopalakrishnan added.
The Panel also recommended the establishment of a ‘Council for Earth Observation’ constituting space industry ecosystem.
“Our recommendation on space is use it for agriculture and water conservation. Satellite imagery can used for detecting the quality, quantity and health of crops and can be used for detecting where water is scarce”, he said.
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This Task Force has also made a case for G20 collaboration to encourage more women to take on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles. STEM is an umbrella term typically used in context of education policy or curriculum choices in schools.
“Look at ISRO. One of the things Iam happy and proud is look at the number of women engineers who are there (ISRO). We need to encourage and empower women to contribute to growth of economy”, Gopalakrishnan said.
This Task Force has also recommended the creation of collaboration body among G20 countries for technology driven cancer research.
“Incidence of cancer is increasing. Can we work together in finding affordable solutions with latest technology. Research will get accelerated with AI. We have an opportunity to leverage latest of the technology tools available to solve the problem”, he said.
The Task Force has recommended the establishment of global standards for green materials. It wants G20 countries to establish a global standard for Green Data Centre. The task force wants Circular economy to be promoted by facilitating research on alternative materials, traceability of recycled materials.