By Paula Paige, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.-- Seeking to promote the exchange of ideas in the global science and technology community, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) recently hosted "Innovation in India: A Decade of Change," part of the International Lecture Series held at the organization´s corporate headquarters.
The Oct. 23 event, which attracted representatives from government agencies, educational institutions and private industry, featured Dr. Sunil Dasgupta, a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institute and the political science program director at the University of Maryland Baltimore County at Shady Grove; Dr. Rao Aiyagari, adviser for the Research Development and Scientific Operations in the Public Health Foundation of India, and former adviser to the Government of India´s Department of Science and Technology; and Dr. Chandra Kintala, director of Software Engineering for the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Focusing on agriculture, Dasgupta opened the interactive discussion, defining innovation as "the systematic and rapid production leading to new knowledge that enables societies to advance," detailing India´s contribution to the "green revolution," military technology and scientific education. Aiyagari discussed the role of science and technology in India over the past half century and shared the efforts being taken by India´s government to promote science and technology development and international collaboration. Kintala covered industrial innovation, noting his experiences as a software engineer in India working with Motorola and Yahoo labs.
Dr. Marco Di Capua, chief scientist at the Department of Energy´s Office of Nonproliferation Research & Development, and the event´s moderator agreed. "S&T is playing a strong role in improving relations between the two countries," he said.
Partnerships within the global science and technology make sense, said ONR Office of Innovation Director Dr. Larry Schuette, whose department has sponsored the fall and spring lecture series, which has focused on international issues. "There are many similarities between India and the United States. India´s challenges in attracting students to science and technology has led them to develop an outreach program similar to the "science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM)" initiatives of the Department of the Navy. And of course, Asia is one of the fastest growing technology regions in the world," he said.
"In fact, ONR Global, our international presence, actively seeks opportunities to promote science and technology collaborations between the U.S. and researchers around the globe," Schuette continued. "Partnerships are a key tenet of the Department of the Navy´s Maritime strategy."
The next lecture series, focusing on Brazil, is scheduled in the spring. The event is free, and registration is required. For more information, call (703) 696-2924.
The series, which began in spring 2009, looked at China and its rapid growth in science and technology.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy´s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps´ technological warfighting dominance. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning, and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.