The India and the EU relationship dates from the 1960s and has today developed to cover a wide spectra of areas, including scientific cooperation. The Cooperation in Science and Technology (S&T) started in mid-1980s and many joint research projects have been implemented. The India and EU are called upon to play major roles and they emerge as global players on the world stage. The signature of the first S&T Agreement between EU and India in 2002 marked an important milestone. The challenge for both is to strengthen the EU-India partnership that will sustain the necessary political will to fully realise all joint endeavours. The EU is India’s first partner in terms of trade and actual investment inflows and one of its major partners in the fields of economic and development cooperation.
In accordance with the S&T agreement, India and the EU’s respective funding programmes for Research and Technological Development (RTD) are open for organisations based in the counterpart. With regards to the Seventh Framework programme (FP7), the European Commission’s funding mechanism for RTD, India is considered as an International Cooperation Partnership Country (ICPC) and can therefore participate and receive funding from FP7 when collaborating with European organizations. India and the EU are strategic S&T cooperation partners and FP7 even presents targeted calls for India in addition to the regular calls. In addition, several joint calls are published in cooperation between the EC and the Government of India.