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India, US announce $50mn fund to promote cleantech

President Obama’s visit to India  led to the announcement of the signing of a number of deals worth about $175-m on clean energy  between Indian and US Companies, majority of them in the solar space.

During the same visit earlier that month, the US-India CEO Forum recommended the setting up of a $1 billion cleantech venture capital fund. The US-India CEO Forum had identified opportunities  in synergizing R&D (research and development) capabilities and funding for clean energy and in enhancing energy efficiency.

Also discussed during the president’s visit was the establishing of a Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center, that will mobilise up to $100 million in public and private sector funding over five years for R&D on potential breakthrough technologies.

In March this year, we had said that  a clean energy research and development centre a joint venture between the ministry of science and technology and the US department of energy.

In an announcement today,India and the U.S. have announced funding commitments of 25 million dollars each to support the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energyesearch and Development Center (JCERDC).

According to U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer, “This is the first collaborative research effort of its kind, where Indian and U.S. researchers will be jointly selected. It elevates the U.S.-India clean energy cooperation to a new level and is a testament to the strength of our continued strategic partnership. We look forward to closer cooperation on clean energy between the technical experts of our two knowledge societies, and sharing the benefits of the collaborative research.”

Teams of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and India will initially focus on research in three priority areas – building energy efficiency, second-generation biofuels and solar energy. The Department of Energy will provide awards under each of the JCERDC’s three initial priority areas. Universities, national labs, private companies and others are eligible to apply.

Funding from the Department of Energy will be matched by U.S. grantees to support $50 million in U.S. research. The Indian Ministry of Science and Technology will provide an additional $50 million in Indian public and private funding to support research in India. The JCERDC will be located in existing facilities in both countries and funding from the U.S. government will only be used to support work conducted by U.S. institutions and individuals.

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