Research collaboration between India and Germany has intensified. This was highlighted by Professor Matthias Kleiner, President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), during a visit to India taking him to several universities and research institutes in New Delhi on Nov. 3 and 4, 2011.
"Cooperation between researchers in both countries has reached a new dimension," said the DFG President in a meeting with representatives of the Indian press on 4 November in New Delhi. "In many areas of basic research we are seeing more and more joint initiatives, due in no small part to funding provided by the DFG, and these are producing outstanding results. This applies to the specific research projects and especially to the funding of early career researchers," added Kleiner.
The growing importance of Indo-German collaboration is also demonstrated by a new study on common publication outputs, which Kleiner presented to the press and public during his visit to New Delhi. The study, compiled jointly by Dr. B. M. Gupta of the Indian National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS) and the DFG, confirms for the first time the intensive cooperation between researchers in both countries, which had been widely assumed. The study found that between 2004 and 2009, approximately 13 % of all international publications coming from India were produced in cooperation with German scientists. This puts Germany in second place as a partner country for Indian researchers; only with American scientists were more joint papers published (around 35%).
The German institution with the most Indo-German publications is the Darmstadt University of Technology, followed by the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the University of Bonn; the institutions on the Indian side are the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai and the Punjab University at Chandigarh. In terms of research areas, the majority of joint publications were produced in physics, followed by chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.
For the DFG this fruitful research collaboration is a good starting point for future cooperative work: "On this basis our goal is to support new Indo-German initiatives so that they can successfully compete in obtaining third-party funding granted according to quality criteria," emphasised DFG President Kleiner in New Delhi. In achieving this objective a particularly important role would be played by the DFG India Office in the Indian capital and its branch office in Hyderabad.