Dr. Avgerinopoulou’s participation at the Virtual Horasis India Meeting

The dynamic of India, the prospects of bilateral cooperation and the scientific, academic and business synergies were indicated by Dr. Dionysia – Theodora Avgerinopoulou, Executive Director of the European Institute of Law, Science and Technology and expert on sustainable and responsible finance, during her address at the virtual Horasis India Meeting.

The Virtual Horasis India Meeting was held on June, 22 with the aim of exploring the next steps in the post-COVID-19 era and India’s transition to a zero-carbon economy with distinguished speakers, such as Anuradha Agarwal, Founder, Think North Consulting, Sumeet Anand, Founder, IndSight Growth Partners, Arjun Mallik, Managing Director East Africa, Prudential Africa, Adrian Mutton, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Sannam S4, India Chaired by Pieter Perrett, Professor, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland.

The “collective experience” the global community had due to the pandemic and especially the lockdown measures that were extensively taken by an important number of countries have indicated that we will perhaps change our live styles for good in the future. The “new normal” is being developed under a new pyramid of societal values, where public health and environmental protection on the one hand and economic development on the other hand should be equal among our priorities. In this new reality, India has an important role to play.

Being still in the middle of the pandemic, it is extremely important that India participates in research programs in cooperation with other universities to explore the interdependence of human health and the environment, environmental aspects of COVID-19 as well as on COVID-SARS vaccine and medicines. India, in particular, is a country with great potential and expertise in telecommunications, being a global leader in outsourcing telecommunications services to multinationals and distance learning. Adjusting to the new reality, India should provide e-lectures on environmental issues, as was mentioned by the participants.

The prospects for cooperation in the following areas were also discussed in detail:

  1. Artificial Intelligence/ Information Technologies and Telecoms (ICT)

India has led the way in the field of artificial intelligence, for instance, two AI-based Indian startups have entered the list of Technology Pioneers of 2020 released by the World Economic Forum.

India actively promotes the integration of artificial intelligence by financing and conducting pilot projects testing AI in agriculture (segmented into robotics, soil and crop management) aiming at making farming easier, more accurate, more profitable, and more productive for the farmer. Agribusiness is essential as a means of economic growth, and also as a means to address the malnutrition that an important number of Indian citizens experience.

Another segment that India has applied AI is healthcare, where innovative, sustainable, and scalable artificial intelligence technology has the potential to greatly improve healthcare outcomes. Health care and pharmaceuticals are important segments of the economy that India should develop for the benefit not only of the Indian people but for the global population, as well.

AI is important in revolutionizing supply chain management and logistics, which is getting more and more important in our interconnected world.

The lockdown regulations of most nations indicated that business, entertainment and schooling depend on high capacity digital links. India’s scientists could contribute towards the rapid digitalization of governments and businesses around the world, which seems to be gradually more and more necessary in the post COVID world. Governments should offer adequate digital services for their citizens, while specific segments of the government, such as the Ministries of Education, should further develop e-courses and homeschooling. It is, of course, important to make this type of technology available to all, so that all could benefit, especially rural areas. Businesses also tend to develop distance working. India is a leader in providing long-distance services to global business, e.g. via call centers, and India should continue to provide this type of service.

  1. Development of production line

The pandemic highlighted the ability of India to provide health supplies, medical equipment, and produce pharmaceuticals. This capability should be further explored and expanded in order for India to be prepared for adequate health coverage in light of another global health crisis, and also to provide other countries with adequate quantities, as well.

  1. Development of High – Tech Innovation

High – Tech Innovation created by Indian researchers in the fields of environment and energy. E.g. I am working closely with new and innovative entrepreneurs on water depollution.

Innovation could help in order to cope with other challenges, as well, such as climate change, and preparedness in view of natural disasters and low off set events.

India could contribute via innovation to the transition to a low-carbon economy. For instance, India has already advanced low-cost electric car technologies. Greece is currently developing is electric mobility program. Therefore, there is a promising field of closer cooperation between the two countries in electric cars.

The low price of oil due to the pandemic should not hinder or postpone such transition.

It is important that India innovate in the fields of smart cities, sustainable transportation, and air pollution. It is important to depollute the environment in order to protect public health and also to create the conditions in the cities that would allow for social distancing, if necessary, even if India is a densely populated country.

Last year, India attracted numerous visitors as an honoured country at the major international commercial innovation exhibition, opening up new prospects of cooperation between Greece and India. Now, the two countries should capitalize and make use of the opportunities that were presented last year. The institutional channels of cooperation, such as ICC and the Hellenic-Indian Chamber of Commerce and Economy, should be further utilized