Visiting Federal Minister for Science & Technology Kapil Sibal and Switzerland Home Minister Pascal Couchepin signed an Executive Program of Cooperation (POC) within the ambit of the framework umbrella agreement on cooperation signed November 2003. The agreement created an architecture for cooperation and includes basic and applied sciences and technology (S&T) and engineering.
As part of this plan, seven leading Indian S&T institutions and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Eidgenossiche Technische Hochschule (ETH) will cooperate to jointly research in life sciences, information technology and application, and nano S&T. The POC covers consultative exchange of scientists and specialists, technocal workshops and seminars, joint labs and centers in areas of mutual interest, scientist training programs, and institutional twinning.
The two nations also covered a proposal for the creation of Centers of Excellence especially in the areas of micro-engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and micro-electronics at Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad in collaboration with EPFL. The two sides recognized the importance of developing joint programs that integrate research and development with industry and a roadmap is to be developed by first quarter of next year. Intellectual property created by these joint ventures will be governed by special provisions in the Executive POC.
These agreements seek to bring in the strength of qualified extensive manpower in India and the highly evolved technical institutes of Switzerland.