Health and innovation in focus during state visit to India
Maria Eriksdotter, dean at KI South, has been taking part in the state visit that the King and Queen are currently on in India. The aim of the visit is to bolster the good relationship that already exists between the countries. Rapid societal development brings enormous challenges to, amongst other things, research and health, and Sweden wants to help India tackle them. The programme included meetings with a focus on sustainable innovation and ageing.
Dialogue on innovation
The visit opened with a high-level dialogue on innovation in Hyderabad House in New Delhi in the presence of the royal couple, Prime Minister Modi, Dr Vardhan (Minister of Science and Technology, of Health and Family Welfare and of Earth Sciences), Professor Vijay Raghavan (scientific advisor to the Indian government) and Ibrahim Baylan (Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation).
Together, they discussed on a general level how to collectively create a world-leading innovation system. During the discussion, Maria raised KI’s strengths and the stressed not only the importance of collaboration with business, but also the necessity of collaboration with the health sector. She also pointed out that access to and the development of health data using AI is becoming increasingly important.
Geriatric care and dementia
The following day, the Queen and State Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs Maja Fjaestad visited the All India Institute for Medical Science (AIIMS) in New Delhi for a discussion on geriatric care and dementia care in India. Maria participated in this round-table discussion, raising the issue of how education and research on ageing and dementia diseases can help improve care for the elderly.
The programme also included a tour of stations to present different aspects of AIIMS’s operations. One such was the work being done at the Memory Clinic, which is well integrated with research and education.
On the Tuesday afternoon, a Health Summit was held to mark “the India-Sweden Year of Health” and a decade of collaboration. A Memorandum of Intent (MoI) was signed for a Health Care Innovation Centre to be established by AIIMS Delhi, AIIMS Jodhpur and Sweden. Maria sees interesting opportunities for KI in this centre and the signing of an MoI is the first step towards achieving it.
Equality and women in work
The state visit continued with a visit to Mumbai, where a discussion was held on equality and women’s access to the labour market. The Royal Institute of Technology, which is also taking part in the visit, brought up its “Tekla Festival” initiative, which inspires young women to choose technical studies.
The visit to Mumbai ended with a reception hosted by the Consul General at the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India in the presence of the royal couple.