EU to set up Business and Technology Centre

The European Union is looking forward to more business opportunities with the State

The European Union (EU) is looking forward to do more business with the State as it announced its intentions to set up a branch of the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) in Bangalore.

The centre will promote ‘European clean technologies’, which the EU sees as a ‘major economic opportunity’ amidst worldwide efforts to combat climate change.

The ambassador of the EU to India, Daniele Smadja said here recently, “An EBTC branch in Bangalore is in the offing and we will set it up soon. The branch will explore the potential for collaborations in the field of bio-technology.” The EBTC’s management of its operations in India is currently restricted to its office in Delhi and the EU has given grants specifically for the purpose of expanding its operations.

Climate change

Climate change, figured highly on the agenda of the Ambassador, who was on a five-day official trip to the City along with a delegation from the European Commission, the diplomatic arm of the EU. Smadja expressed her appreciation for India’s commitment towards a strong policy against climate change, but stopped short of saying that the implementation left a lot to be desired. “All I can say is India is committed in terms of policy and drafting the correct policy. But despite our invitation, India has been extremely reluctant to join our pilot study on Carbon capture and sequestration,” she said. India incidentally turned down the offer on grounds that it will not participate till the technology is safe, she added.

Smadja said that the controversial Emission Trading Scheme pursued by the EU to reach its own targets of carbon emission reduction has been to the benefit of countries like India. “Carbon trading has resulted in a significant amount of investment in India. The volume of trade of Co2 has been close to 250 million tonnes with India and the value of that runs into several million euros,” she said.

However, experts believe that a number of multi-national giants including several promoted by the EU use the Emission Trading Scheme to buy the right to pollute. And in most cases it is developing countries such as India that pay the price with increased levels of pollution.

Information seminar

The Commission organised an information seminar on climate change for the local media as part of its activities to raise awareness about climate change. The delegation included Dr Jurgen Bishoff, Director of the Indo-German Environment Programme, Dietrich Kebschull, Director EBTC India and Robert Donkers, Minister Counsellor Environment, European Commission to India.  

Meanwhile, the ambassador also met Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and the Governor to discuss collaborations in the field of higher education, IT, technology and solar energy. The ambassador said that the EU and India will work closely on the issue of Solar Energy with several research programmes in the pipeline.

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