Indo-French Innovation Workshop, 24th & 25th February 2016
“India today is a major scientific power”, said François Gautier, General Consul of France in Bangalore. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the Indo-French Innovation Workshop that began at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru. Referring to the enduring relationship between the two countries, he said, “India and France have a lot in common, both have rich histories, great civilisations, long legacies of contributions to science and mathematics”.
The two day ‘Collège de France’ Innovation Workshop, entitled, ’Innovation: Technological, Political and Societal dimensions’, is bringing together leading researchers from both the countries to deliberate on innovation in various dimensions. This event is jointly organised by College de France, Paris, the Service for Science and Technology of the French Embassy in India, the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities, New Delhi, the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, and the French Institute in India.
In her inaugural remarks, Professor Anne Cheng, Chair of Chinese Intellectual History, College de France spoke about the historical roots of College de France. The ‘Collège de France’ was started more than five hundred years ago, by the King of France Francis the 1st, as a counterpoint to the Sorbonne which was then under the influence of the Church. The College de France, was therefore set up to “teach everything” which the Sorbonne did not teach. Today, committed to cutting-edge research, it teaches "knowledge in the making” in the fields of literature, science and arts, and can boast of having world-leading experts as its faculty members. “The present workshop symbolises the strong ties between India and France, and will go a long way in fostering collaboration between the countries”, said Prof Anne Cheng.
Professor K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, noted that innovation is extremely important for India. To scale up entrepreneurship, which is as critical as innovation itself, Department of Biotechnology and NITI Aayog are envisaging ’Innovation Bazaars’ to mentor budding entrepreneurs, he said. He also noted that international partnership is vital for the country. Professor K. VijayRaghavan delivered his talk via video conferencing.
Prof V. S. Ramamurthy, Former Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Former Director of National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), said, “Innovation in social sciences and economics are critical to take the innovations in science and technology to the common man”. Professor H Sharat Chandra, Honorary Director, Centre for Human Genetics, discussed the role of aesthetics in science and innovation.
After the inaugural session, Le College de France, Five centuries of research, a book authored by Antoine Compagnon, Pierre Corvol, John Scheid, with the Gallimard publishing house was formally launched.