Among other moves, McFadden signed a civil nuclear cooperation that will see the UK and India working together to increase the use of nuclear energy to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation.
On the back of this, in early March the UK will host a nuclear new-build conference, where representatives from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd will to set out India’s plans for developing nuclear power projects and technologies in the coming years.
Then in late March, the UK will host a senior academic delegation from India to meet their UK counterparts, to encourage and nurture post-doctoral research in this field. McFadden said, “[This] opens doors to greater collaboration between companies in our two countries; more wide-ranging research collaboration; and new opportunities to address shared challenges such as nuclear waste management.”
The two countries also agreed two joint projects in solar energy, with Research Councils UK and the Indian Department of Science and Technology each committing up to £5 million over a three-year period for two research projects:
Advancing the efficiency and production of excitonic solar cells. This will focus on the development of materials, structures, processing and photovoltaic panel engineering of excitonic solar cells - a class of non-conventional solar cell based on new types of materials. It will build on existing research in both the UK and India to develop cheaper and higher volume solar cell manufacture.
Stability and performance of photovoltaics. This will focus on improving materials supply and developing better designs to create cheaper and more efficient solar cells.
Other items on McFadden’s agenda include addressing the second bilateral India-UK Science and Innovation Council meeting, with the Indian Minister for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan in New Delhi.