India, Sweden join hands for a sustainable future through innovation

New Delhi: The 9th annual India Sweden Innovation Day 2022 concluded successfully on October 27. The day-long event was organised in association with the Embassy of India to Sweden & Latvia, Sweden-India Business Council (SIBC), and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The event was a massive success with over 1,000 participants from across the globe. About 350 esteemed delegates attended the Innovation Day 2022 in person while more than 700 marked their presence online.

The main highlight of the event was the implementation of the partnership, principles of co-funding, co-development, co-creation towards mutual benefits, and making full use of complementary strengths.

The 9th India Sweden Innovation Day also encompassed comprehensive sessions with relevant stakeholders in domains such as sustainable urban development and safe transportation, life science, energy, environment, health, and science and technology.

Since industry 4.0 is at the forefront of driving sustainable industrial growth across the globe, the event laid considerable emphasis on exploring its potential in the development and adoption of smart technologies for enhanced efficiency and socio-environmental sustainability.

The keynote speakers during the inauguration included Tanmaya Lal, India’s Ambassador to Sweden; Martin Lundstedt CEO, Volvo Group; Jitendra Singh, Indian Minister for Science and Technology; Peter Carlsson Founder and CEO, Northvolt; Anna Kinberg Batra Chairman, Swedish Space Corporation & Senior Executive Advisor, Sweden-India Business Council and Jan Thesleff, Ambassador of Sweden to India.

Speaking on the occasion the new Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, Ebba Busch, said: “It’s an honour to inaugurate the 9th India & Sweden innovation day & as a minister for energy business & Industry. I will look forward to future discussions on how to deepen the collaboration between our countries. The relationship between India & Sweden is stronger than ever and innovation partnership has really become a cornerstone of our bilateral collaboration. This collaboration aims to solve bigger challenges in areas such as green transition, clean energy, health & transportation.”

“India is rapidly becoming an innovation powerhouse climbing from rank 81 to 40 global innovation index in just a few years. Also, Swedish companies have been operating in India for many decades employing over 200 thousand people directly and 2.2 million indirectly. Swedish companies continue to invest and partner with the Indian research and innovation ecosystem,” added Busch.

Commenting on strengthening the ties between the two nations, Tanmaya Lal, Ambassador of India to Sweden and Latvia said, “Innovation is the key for not only growth and sustainability but also to manage global challenges such as pandemics to climate change. Sweden is the leader of innovation and sustainability and India too is climbing rapidly in the global innovation ratings. India is the reservoir of engineering, Research and development and entrepreneurial talent. The scale and speed of innovative technological solutions for sustainable development that are now coming out of India offers huge possibilities of collaborations. In this context this annual day series brought together the researchers, businesses and investors and government agencies. We thank all the participants for joining this discussion and accelerating an inclusive green transition for our collective sustainable future.”

The India Sweden association will not only help analyse and develop technology and solutions that sustainably impact humanity in the greatest way, but will also address health, and safe transport to security and better quality of life through acceleration, innovation, and solutions between the countries with the power of technology.

Jitendra Singh, Minister for Science and Technology, said: “The continuation of this event for the last 8 years itself reflects an effective partnership between India and Sweden. Both the governments and industries in the two nations are developing a technology-oriented ecosystem for a win-win situation.

“I am delighted that innovation cooperation is the fastest growing element in the world today along with bi-lateral relationship between India and Sweden. In 2018, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Sweden to deepen the collaboration through joint declaration on innovation partnership for a sustainable future. This partnership aims to increase the impact of bilateral collaboration in innovation science and technology.

“The partnership highlights several areas including smart cities, transportation e-mobility energy, green technology, new materials, space, circular economy, bio-waste economy, health and life sciences. India Sweden innovation partnership bridges institutions, R&D industry and also creates entrepreneurs to address global challenges in line with the UN sustainable development goals,” he further added.

Speaking on lowering down the carbon footprints, Hakan Kingstedt Chairman, Sweden-India Business Council stated: “Accelerating green transitioning and driving innovation partnership to the next level is the most important agenda of this association. We are here today to tie one more knot, taking the friendship of India and Sweden ahead. Furthermore, Sweden is a leader in innovation in Europe. We are in a transition mode to lower the carbon footprints and it is quite interesting to see that our industries are redeveloping all over Sweden. From green steel technology, hydrogen storage, electric battery systems to electric buses, cars and new traffic systems, Sweden is an exciting place to be in right now. At last, I would like to take an opportunity to wish both the countries in this association.”

Commenting on the successful completion of the 9th edition of the Innovation Day, 2022, Jan Thesleff, Sweden Ambassador to India said: “The vast and powerful political administrations, agencies, corporate sector, and academic sector in the event today were excellent examples of the Swedish Indian collaboration. We are moving towards a relationship that will be driven by both parties. We assessed our accomplishments, and now, with assistance from Indian organisations and the Indian government, we are examining the possibilities of the built-up areas for future collaboration. Our objective places a strong emphasis on innovation and sustainability. This event’s goal is to create projections on how we can connect these alliances and facilitate cooperation between Indian partners and Swedish investors.

Pressing on the importance on sustainable solutions, Martin Lundstedt, CEO, Volvo Group stated: “With innovation in transportation being a long-term goal of both Sweden and India, we are moving in the direction of being considerably more sustainable. It is an important factor in prosperity. Infrastructure, transportation, and logistics are essential to the plan’s effective execution.

“We are aware that a developing society’s GDP, per capita, and economic growth are closely related to these factors. Our goal is to provide long-term solutions to development problems, such as more efficient transportation and infrastructure logistics. The two nations also agreed to fund the joint innovation projects within AI, Health, Clean Tech, Smart Cities and Safe Mobility,” added Lundstedt.

Commenting on the strengthening ties between India and Sweden, Robin Sukhia, President, Sweden-India Business Council SIBC said: “India Sweden Innovation Day 2022 is a testament to the commitment of both the nations to promote sustainable industrial development and green transition via technological excellence. With the world grappling with climate change today, it is imperative for governments and industry to strategically collaborate and foster innovation and technology adoption to ensure green economic development. The India Sweden Innovation Day serves as the stepping stone in this direction to strengthen government and industry collaboration for green transition.”

Elaborating more on the importance of green transition and the importance of strategic events like India Sweden Innovation Day, Ludvig Lindstrom, Head of Innovation Accelerator, said: “The India Sweden innovation accelerator has been in existence for 10 years reflecting our commitment to sustainability and green transition. This is constantly being strengthened through the flow of new companies, industries and academic partners joining our initiative. We at Sweden Business center are working constantly with organisations like CII to deliver high impact value to reflect our commitment towards green transition and sustainable economic development.”

Commenting on the collaboration of Index, Per-Olof Marklund, CTO, SAAB, Business Area Aeronautics said: “The defence industry has been a bit conservative, but the technology which is needed today in a fighter jet is more available in the open market within the defence industry. Collaborating with a start-up and finding ideas that may be used in the defence industry and applying them in our industry is the key to be successful in the future. Index in itself is about cooperating with three other companies that are vastly different from our industry. We have a logistics industry, an agricultural company, and a defence company.

“We don’t have that much in common on paper but if you look at the idea that come in then we have a lot in common and we always get new ideas from each other and boost each other in this process,” added Per-Olof Marklund.

The one-day event acknowledged the importance of the various facets of climate change, and both countries laid out specific actions to quicken the transition to a greener economy by putting cutting-edge digital technology and artificial intelligence to use.

Furthermore, both countries had extensive discussions and used technology to develop climate-friendly solutions. The summit also concentrated on fostering rapid economic expansion and addressing the pandemic’s residual consequences.

This year the summit provided an opportunity to discuss the international situation and response to the challenges towards sustainability as well as regional and global issues of mutual importance including climate action, technological development and economic growth.

The event also addressed the need of rigorous work towards the UN sustainable development goals with innovation, radically improved technology, business models and work practices to bring the transformative change.

Sanjoo Malhotra, Chief Executive Director of India Unlimited, provided additional information about the 9th India Sweden Day Innovation Day 2022, stating: “The 9th Innovation Day brought together the prominent industry leaders from different verticals to connect and co-create ideas and solutions on driving green transition via digital transformation, green-oriented technologies, supportive government policies, and extensive studies on benefits of a sustainable and green future for the industry”.

The event was themed ”Accelerating India Sweden’s Green Transition”, under which both the countries discussed the prospects of accelerating green transition via innovation and by harnessing the power of climate-positive technology, next-generation digitalization. India Sweden Innovation Day 2022 was hosted by India Unlimited.

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