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Wiss-Nama Newsletter April 2020

27.04.2020 - Press release

News from Indo-German Cooperation

Kerala IT institute and German institutes develop Artificial Intelligence cir-cuits to study coronavirus

IITM Kerala, in a joint research project with Siegen University and Fraunhofer Society, has made a breakthrough in developing Analogue Integrated Circuits for implementing Generative Adversarial Networks. This AI application can possibly be used to generate new molecular structures that can bind with the 3C-like pro-tease, which is one of the most important COVID-19 protein targets, and inhibit virus functioning.
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Serum Institute to test if German-developed TB vaccine is effective against Covid-19

Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, will soon start clinical trials in Germany to test if tuberculosis vaccine VPM1002 is effective as a preventive and immunity booster vaccine against Covid-19. The Pune-based Biotechnology Company has tied up with Berlin-based Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, which has originally developed VPM1002. Phase III clinical trials of VPM1002 are likely to start on 2,000 people in Germany across hospitals. Soon after that, SII would start trials in India as well.
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Highlights from Germany and India

India has allocated over Rs 200 Cr for new Covid-19 Projects

Funds of over Rs 200 crore (24 million Euros) have been allocated to scientific institutions, industries and startups to develop innovative solutions that can help fight the novel coronavirus pandemic. DST secretary Ashutosh Sharma explained that funding would go into three categories: The first focuses on R&D, being sanctioned through SERB. The next is for commercial indigenous technology, via the Technology Development Board. The third is for supporting startups that are close to the final product or technology, through the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board.
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Government nod to 5 research projects to tackle Covid-19

DST & SERB have selected a first set of projects which will be supported for further development into implementable technologies to fight Covid-19. The five projects selected in an accelerated process - two from IIT-Bombay and one each from IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kanpur and JNCASR Bengaluru - concern antiviral and virustatic surface coating of PPE and other inanimate surfaces, the identification of metabolite biomarkers in COVID 19 infected patients, and the development of antibodies against the coronavirus.
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Bharat Biotech set to develop and test vaccine for Covid-19

Bharat Biotech is getting into development and testing of a vaccine against Covid-19 called CoroFlu as part of an international collaboration of virologists and vac-cine makers. CoroFlu is built on M2SR, a proven flu vaccine and is expected to enter into clinical trials by fall. Bharat Biotech would conduct clinical trials and also manufacture the vaccine for global distribution.
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Germany devotes over 300 million Euros to Covid-19 Research

Germany’s Research Minister Anja Karliczek pursues an ambitioned agenda to support research to fight the corona virus. A short-term call for virology research was published in early March with a volume of 10 million euros. The research ministry supports the development of medication and vaccines with over 140 mil-lion euros (see below). And 150 million Euros go to the funding of a scientific network of university hospitals, which ss.
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German virologists leading in worldwide race for Covid-19 vaccine

CureVac, a Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company and pioneer in the pre-clinical and clinical development of mRNA-based drugs has attracted much inter-national attention for its promising research for a corona vaccine. The German Research Ministry is supporting their research with an up to 140 million euros contribution to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a public-private partnership to accelerate vaccine development against emerging infectious diseases. CureVac is currently doing animal tests of its first vaccine candidates.
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Upcoming events


EURAXESS India Webinar

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) and EU-India Research Cooperation under Horizon 2020
For students and researchers interested in a two-year postdoc stay in Europe, with EU funding, and to learn about EU-India Partnership on Research & Innova-tion, co-funding calls, and opportunities of cooperation under Horizon 2020
April 28, 2020: 11 AM, any place convenient to the participant with good internet connection.
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Webinar Series on German Start-Up and entrepreneurship scene: Connect with Germany to grow your Start-Up

The DWIH New Delhi will facilitate two online discussions on May 5 and 6, 2020. German experts will provide an insight into the German support system for en-trepreneurs and research-based start-ups. The topics of discussion will include the German start-up and entrepreneurship scene, Incubation at German univer-sities and research institutions, Funding of high-tech start-ups in Germany, and Opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs and research-based start-ups in Germany.
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DAAD Events

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will be organizing a series of events for Indian students and researchers interested in pursuing studies or re-search in Germany and webinars for students joining German universities shortly.

Online Q&A Session: Study in Germany

April 21, 2020: 3:00 PM, any place convenient to the participant with good internet connection.
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Online Q&A: How to apply for a PhD in Germany

Interaction with Dr Katja Lasch

April 22, 2020: 3:00 PM, any place convenient to the participant with good internet connection.
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Webinar: Master Studies in Germany

April 23, 2020: 3:00 PM, any place convenient to the participant with good internet connection.
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Online Q&A Session: Study in Germany

April 28, 2020: 3:00 PM, any place convenient to the participant with good internet connection.
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Online Q&A Session: Study in Germany

April 30, 2020: 3:00 PM, any place convenient to the participant with good internet connection.
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Calls for Proposals

DST Short-term Research Grant special call for Nano Coating COVID-19

Considering emerging health care requirements to combat the COVID-19 epidem-ic, DST & SERB announce short-term projects researching Antiviral Nano-coatings for PPE, preferably with multidisciplinary efforts. Project duration should be of a maximum of 1 year for developing a Nano-coating up to a stage at which can be transferred to the partnering Industry or a Start-up.
Application deadline: April 30, 2020
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Special Call for Yoga-related concept notes to fight Covid-19 and other related viruses

DST invites concept notes under the ‘Science and Technology of Yoga and Medita-tion (SATYAM)’ Programme for appropriate intervention of yoga and meditation to fight against Covid-19 and other similar kind of viruses. The concept note should cover one of the following topics: Improving immunity and prevention, improving respiratory system, and battling stress and anxiety related to isolation, uncertain-ty, and disruptions in normal life.
Application deadline: April 30, 2020
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Helmholtz International Fellow Award

Scientists and research managers with experience of knowledge management at larger research institutions abroad can be nominated by Helmholtz researchers for the Helmholtz International Fellow Award. Self-submission of applications is not possible. Requirements for applicants include outstanding scientific track record, a research subject relevant to the fields of the Helmholtz Association, and previous collaboration with a Helmholtz Centre. The nomination should outline how the award will further deepen this cooperation. The nomination of female re-searchers is particularly welcomed.
Application deadline: April 30, 2020
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3 PhD positions in Molecular and Chemical Ecology and Evolution

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Exploration of Ecolog-ical Interactions with Molecular and Chemical Techniques invites applications for 3 PhD positions beginning in October 2020 – January 2021. The overarching re-search topic is the use of molecular, chemical and neurobiological techniques to experimentally explore ecological interactions under natural conditions. The main focus of the doctoral school based in Jena, Germany, lies on the relationship be-tween plants, microbes and herbivores, and their environment, as well as the evo-lutionary and behavioral consequences of these interactions. Applicants should have or be about to obtain a Masters or equivalent degree in one of the following fields: entomology, neurobiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, plant physiology, genetics, ecology, evolutionary biology, bioinformat-ics, mathematics or computer science.
Application deadline: May 8, 2020
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Green Talents Award 2020 for aspiring sustainability researchers

The International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development invites applications from pioneering scientists active in SDG-related fields, to apply for the 2020 Green Talents awards. The award includes a fully funded two-week Sci-ence Forum in October 2020, with of visits to leading German sustainability insti-tutions and companies and tailor-made networking programmes to discuss pos-sibilities for upcoming joint research. It also foresees a fully funded research stay of up to three months at an institution of choice in Germany in 2021 and exclu-sive access to the distinguished Green Talents alumni network. Master students, PhD students, postdocs, as well as young professionals, with no more than three years of professional work experience are eligible to apply.
Application Deadline: May 19, 2020
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Call for nominations for Max Planck India Partner Groups and Max Planck India Mobility Grants for Junior Scientists

The Max Planck Society invites applications to boost its collaboration with India: Max Planck Partner Groups support collaboration between Max-Planck Institutes and former foreign guest scientists who have returned to their home country in target research areas which are scientifically promising and innovative. Max Planck-India Mobility Grants provide funding for short-term visits of young Indi-an Scientists to Max Planck Institutes over a period of four years.
Application deadline: July 31, 2020
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The German Chancellor Fellowship

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation invites applications from Indian young pro-fessionals from wide range of fields such as politics, business, media, public ad-ministration, society and culture. The Fellowship for prospective leaders offers talented young professionals an opportunity to spend a year in Germany which they can use to advance their professional training and conduct together with their German host a project they have developed themselves.
Application Deadline: September 15, 2020
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To acquaint our readers with the scientific scenario in India and Germany and to highlight the Indo-German cooperation in the field of science and technology, we introduce one German or Indian Science institution in every edition, as a regular feature in our newsletter:
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s leading research univer-sities, with around 550 professors, 42,000 students, and 10,000 academic and non-academic staff. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, combined with economic and social sciences. TUM has maintained partnerships with some of the most prestigious Indian universities since 2001. In November 2014 TUM established its own liaison office at the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai and became the contact point for interested students and scientists. TUM Mumbai acts as an interface between India and TUM. TUM is also a member of the TU9, a group of leading German universities having a strong alliance with India. In 2006 and 2012 it won recogni-tion as a German “Excellence University”. In international rankings, TUM regular-ly places among the best universities in Germany.
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Did You Know?

Every year the moon is moving away from the earth by 3.8 cm.

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