Collaboration in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) plays an increasingly important role in the EU-India Strategic Partnership. In line with the EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025, and the Joint Science and Technology Steering Committee meeting on 12 February 2021, the Department of Science & Technology (DST), has identified calls for proposals in the Work programmes 2023- 2024 of the EU R&I Research and Innovation Programme ‘Horizon Europe’ (HE), which it considers of mutual interest and aiming at jointly tackling global challenges. For this, DST has established a mechanism outlining the conditions upon which it will co-fund the successful Indian entity/ies and in which call topics have announced below following the Co-Funding Mechanism (hereafter CFM). The CFM will apply to the call topics earmarked by DST in areas of AI, Data and Robotics; electric energy storage solutions for grid support and charging infrastructure; zero emission vehicles; biofuels in line with Mission Innovation etc.
There is a need for AI methods that optimize training and reduce the amount data, the intensity of processing and the operations necessary for training high-quality, trustworthy AI systems. As a consequence, the energy consumption and the environment footprint will also be reduced. Such solutions are of relevance also in the context of embedded and embodied AI, i.e. AI capabilities in robotics and connected devices/objects/embedded processors, including small (down to micro/nanoscale) objects with long-term autonomy.
Proposals should address novel AI methods and training data provision processes, aiming at high quality and reliable AI while minimizing the data needs and manipulations, targeting smart and dynamic end-to-end automation of AI training in the cloud-edge computing continuum, where AI training, AI deployment and data collection/preparation happens at the most appropriate level of the cloud-edge continuum. This will lead to better quality of AI by smart data selection/harvesting/preparation and reduces the need to collect, store, process and transfer large amounts of data and/or large AI models, while reducing energy consumption.
The work should contribute to increasing data efficiency and energy efficiency of AI, and rationalize the provision of data for AI. The work should support appropriate AI paradigms (central, distributed, dynamic, hybrid), responding and adapting easily to the needs of the use situation, and to the changing characteristics, availability and use conditions for data.
Proposals should address at least one of the following focus areas:
· automated and AI-based mining, harvesting, selection, cleaning, annotation, and/or enrichment/augmentation of data for AI; generating and using synthetic data to reduce the need for large volumes of real and potentially sensitive data; validating the efficiency of these processes in AI systems;
· lighter, less data-intensive and less energy-consuming AI models, optimized learning processes that require less input (data efficient AI) without degrading the quality of the output; machine learning methods and architectures that deal with lower volumes such as transfer learning; one-shot learning; continuous and/or lifelong learning.
Projects are expected to contribute to the following outcomes:
· Optimized AI solutions: optimizing model design and data usage to maximize accuracy and robustness.
· Ensure in general, the pipeline of high-quality, representative, unbiased and compliant training data for AI development in all relevant sectors
· Support data preparation and AI training processes that lead to efficient and more trustworthy AI
Specific Topic Conditions
Activities are expected to start at TRL 2-3 and achieve TRL 4-5 by the end of the project.
Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to a human-centred and ethical development of digital and industrial technologies, and more specifically to one or several of the following impacts:
· Increased inclusiveness, by supporting a human-centred approach to technology development that is aligned with European social and ethical values (including gender and intersectional aspects), as well as sustainability;
· Sustainable, high-quality jobs by targeting skills mismatches, the need to empower workers, including those at risk of social exclusion, and ethical considerations relating to technological progress[[2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust]].
Central Government / State Government supported or recognized (Public or Private) academic and/or research institution(s);
National / State funded R&D Labs;
Government of India / State Government recognized Organizations, having research and innovation as one of the imperative mandates; R&D centres recognised as Scientific Industrial Research Organization (SIRO) by DSIR;
The scientific R&D performing Indian industry may participate voluntarily in this call with participating Indian industry investing its own resources or come in collaboration with research/academic organization, but by investing their own resources.
Public and/or private universities and research organisations must have a well-established research support system for research.
Maximum of One crores fifty lakhs Rupees (₹1,50,00,000/-) per project will be made available by DST to the successful Indian participant(s) in a collaborative project with European partners under ‘Horizon Europe’. DST will decide final number of funded projects. Indian participant must ensure that each Indian participant follows budget format proposed by the DST.
1) Manpower cost: as per the requirements of the project (emoluments will be as per prevailing
Gov. of India norms);
2) Mobility of investigator(s) & project staff(s): for visit(s) and work related to the project to
be undertaken by Indian investigator(s) & project staff(s) in Europe, the cost of travel and
man-days of stay in European countries (i.e. round-trip international travel by economy class,
admissible insurances, local transport, boarding and lodging) must be justifiably budgeted by
respective Indian organisation for each year.
3) Overhead/Indirect Cost: overhead expenses payable to legal entity/organization for Indian
partners, up to 10% of the total project cost for educational institutions and up to 8% for
laboratories and institutions under central Government Departments/Agencies as per prevailing
Gov. of India norms.
All proposals with Indian applicants should be submitted to both Horizon Europe Funder & Tenders portal and to DST’s ePMS online portal by visiting onlinedst.gov.in.
Dr Mahak Garg, Scientist
International Cooperation Division,
Department of Science and Technology
New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi – 110016
Dr Arvind Kumar, Scientist ‘F’,
International Cooperation Division,
Department of Science and Technology
New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi -110016
Deadline for submission of complete proposal: 29 March 2023
Deadline for submission of concept note/expression of interest to R&D Department – 28 February 2023, EoD. The project proposal in prescribed format or the concept note as the case may be, should be sent to Dean R&D (firstname.lastname@example.org), with CC to Associate Dean (R&D) (email@example.com) well in time.
For more information, please see attachment and visit https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/horizon-cl4-2023-human-01-01.