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Sibal calls on Jacques Chirac

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal today called on French President Jacques Chirac in Paris and apprised him of his discussions with French Foreign and Finance Ministers.

Mr Sibal, who had reached Paris yesterday, also had a meeting with Senator, Pierree Laffittee, the founder President of Sophia Antipolis Science Park, an official press note here said.

French Foreign Minister Philipe Douste-Blazy agreed to lead a high level deleation to India. It was agreed to create intense cooperative arrangements between thematic clusters in the areas of Micro-elctronics, Pharma-nanobiotechnology and water technology.

With a view to supporting the cooperation it was agreed to create a fund jointly with governments and industries from two sides. In view of the need for enhanced S&T cooperation between the two countries, the cooperation programmes will be periodically reviewed and monitored by the ministers.

The main objective of Mr Sibal's visit is to review and further strengthen the bilateral programme of cooperation in the area of Science and Technology and to create focused cooperation between newly created high-tech Competitiveness Clusters (Poles de Competitivite) in France and corresponding S&T Parks in India.

Mr Sibal was given a detailed presentation on Competitiveness Clusters by the Paris Ile-de-France Regional Development Agency. He visited one of the leading Competitiveness Clusters, Genepole Meditech Sante that focuses on neurosciences, oncology and infectious diseases.

During his interactions with the officials and scientists and entrepreneurs of start-up companies, the possibilities of joint R&D and industrial collaborations were discussed.

Mr Sibal and the French Foreign Minister felt that the French industries needed to be exposed to Indian markets and S&T capability.

He also met the French Minister for Research and Higher Education Francois Goulard and reviewed ongoing S&T cooperation programmes.

UNI SN VD RK2046

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