International S&T Affairs Directorate (ISTAD)

About CSIR-ISTAD

The International S&T Affairs Directorate (ISTAD) located at the CSIR Head Quarters, New Delhi spearheads CSIR's linkages with international scientific & technical agencies abroad for carrying out collaborative and contract research in frontier areas of science and technology. ISTAD has been playing a pivotal role in identifying and nurturing CSIR's global partnerships in the cutting edge areas of research and development which span more than 46 world class agencies across 35 countries around the globe.

CSIR-ISTAD Mission Statement

“To develop and execute a focused, proactive and sustainable approach for international S&T collaborations that would maximize the intellectual benefits to CSIR and it’s people for catalyzing industrial & societal development and enhance CSIR’s business portfolio & potential thereby positioning CSIR internationally as a major provider of S&T expertise/services for the developing and least developed countries and building bridges of friendships internationally through science and technology (S&T) diplomacy.”

CSIR-ISTAD Mandate

The functions of the CSIR - International S&T Affairs Directorate (CSIR-ISTAD) inter alia include

  • Acting as a nodal point for positioning CSIR in the international S&T arena;
  • Facilitating transfer of CSIR knowhow and technologies abroad especially in the neighboring countries and the developing countries for creating solutions for common good;
  • Reinforcing S&T base in the developing countries by providing advanced explore/training as well as research and higher education opportunities to their researchers;
  • Assisting CSIR in making its scientific & technological knowledgebase internationally competitive through building international scientific and technological networking and collaborations, twinning of institutions and similar other initiatives;
  • Assisting CSIR system in scouting for, and pinpointing, the very latest of internationally competitive scientific and technological advances and breakthroughs of relevance to India, that should mold, shape and energize CSIR’s current and future research and development initiatives;
  • Building and fortifying bridges of understanding between CSIR and its major overseas science & technology partners to develop synergies and leverage CSIR’s capabilities in core areas of S&T;
  • Generating additional resources for CSIR through international project funding;
  • Vitalizing CSIR’s inputs through engineered training and retraining of its scientists in core sectors and at the same time helping exploit the enormous trainer potential of the CSIR laboratories to forge and reinforce international partnerships.

International Cooperation Activities of CSIR

CSIR promotes international S&T networking with a belief that sharing of knowledge is like international trade; both parties benefit and the total amount of knowledge exchanged is greater than the sum of knowledge actually exchanged. ISTAD plays a key role to foster and expand CSIR’s international partnerships by initiating new cooperation tools with leading international agencies across the globe, managing / supporting collaborative projects, joint / international workshops and conferences, training programs and facilitating networking through scientific visits of CSIR delegations / scientists abroad and of foreign delegations / researchers to CSIR and its research institutes.

International S&T cooperation activities of ISTAD could be divided into three broad categories, viz i) Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation; ii) International Benchmarking through Awards and Fellowships to International Peers; and iii) Human Resource Capacity Building through international exposure to CSIR scientists and technologists.

i) Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation

The international scientific and technological collaboration activities, both bilateral and multilateral, are pursued through the following modes:

  • Exchange of scientists, research scholars and specialists for the purpose of research, training, consultation and exchange of expertise.
  • Organization of bilateral scientific and technical seminars / workshops / conferences and courses on problems of mutual interest to both countries.
  • Joint identification of scientific and technical problems, formulation and implementation of joint research programs in select areas of science and technology. Exchange of knowledge, expertise and know-how resulting from the collaborative programs.
  • Setting up of joint ventures, joint laboratories or pilot stations.
  • Conducting joint studies.
  • Exchange of scientific and technical information and documentation.
Global S&T Partners

CSIR through ISTAD has concluded umbrella MoUs/Agreements with several of the world’s leading scientific agencies for bilateral and multilateral cooperation. These MoUs and Agreements along with the Working Documents, provide broad guidelines for execution of international cooperation. The active corporate level Cooperation Arrangements of CSIR with Foreign R&D Organizations are listed below:

SN

Country

Foreign Organization

Date of MoU/ Agreement Signing

1.

Argentina

National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET)

Jan 24, 1985

2.

Australia

Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce (DITAC), Australia

Apr 26, 1991

3.

Australia

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Jul 7, 2008

4.

Australia

Deakin University (cooperation in S&T areas particularly, Mining, Alternate energy and fuels, Affordable Healthcare & Nanotechnology

May 6, 2019

5.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) Bangladesh

Sep 30, 1994

6.

Brazil

National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) of the Federal Republic of Brazil

Feb 4, 2004

7.

China

National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)

Mar 12, 1992

8.

China

State Bureau of Technical Supervision of China

Jun 28, 1991 & Mar 31, 1993

9.

China

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Oct 29, 2009

10.

Czech Republic

Czech Academy of Sciences

Sep 7, 2018

11.

Egypt

National Research Centre (NRC), Cairo

Aug 24, 2015

12.

France

National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)

1990, 1997, 2012, 2017, Dec 17, 2019

13.

Germany

Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) (Research Centre Julich (FzJ) (Formerly, KFA)

Nov 25, 1974

14.

Germany

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (FhG)

Oct 31, 2019

15.

Guyana

Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST)

Aug 12, 2002

16.

Italy

The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)

1991, 2007

17.

Italy

Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR)

1995, 2012, 2015

18.

Japan

Agency of Industrial Science & Technology (AIST)

Feb 10, 2017

19.

Japan

Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo

Oct 29, 2018

20.

Japan

Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Oct 29, 2018

21.

Japan

Hiroshima University

Oct 29, 2018

22.

Jordon

Royal Scientific Society (RSS)

Apr 30, 1985

23.

Korea (ROK)

National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST)

Jul 09, 2018

24.

Kuwait

Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)

Nov 20, 2013

25.

Mongolia

Academy of Sciences of Mongolia (ASM)

Feb 5, 1993

26.

Morocco

The National Center for Scientific and Technological Research (CNRST)

Feb 21, 2018

27.

Nepal

RONAST (renamed as Nepal Academy of Science & Technology (NAST)

Jan 6, 1994 & Jan 5, 1999

28.

Norway

Foundation for Industrial and Technical Research

(SINTEF)

Oct 14, 2014

29.

Peru

National Council of Science and Technology (CONCYTEC)

Feb 2, 1989

30.

Poland

Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS)

Oct 7, 1977

31.

Saudi Arabia

King Abdul Aziz City for Science & Technology (KACST)

Jun 12, 1997

32.

Slovak

Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS)

Jun 23, 1995

33.

Slovenia

International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE)

Nov 19, 2007

34.

South Africa

CSIR, South Africa

Jul 10, 1998

35.

Sudan

National Council for Research (NCR)

Nov 04, 1985

36.

Switzerland

Swiss Foundation for Technical Assistance (SFTA), Zurich

Mar 24, 1961

37.

Syria

Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC)

Oct 10, 1990

38.

Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

Industrial Technology Research Institute, Hsinchu

Oct 12, 2017

39.

Tanzania

Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)

Oct 18, 1995,

40.

Thailand

Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR)

Oct 19, 1986, Feb 24, 2015

41.

Turkey

Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)

Sep 17, 1998

42.

UK

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Jan 10, 1996

43.

USA

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Jul 2, 2019

44.

USA

Mayo Clinic

Jun 5, 2020

45.

Vietnam

Vietnamese Academy of Science & Technology (VAST)

May 19, 1989

46.

Vietnam

Vietnam National University (VNU), Hanoi

Nov 20, 2013


Bilateral cooperation is implemented mainly through joint research projects with CSIR primarily funding exchange visits in accordance with the MoU/Agreement. In addition, training programs / workshops / seminars are organized jointly by CSIR and the collaborating agencies.

Of the 46 above listed collaborations at least 22 cooperation programs are under active execution. Effort is being made towards reactivating some of the not so active existing cooperation arrangements. In addition, new mutually beneficial linkages with potential global partners are being explored and pursued.

In addition to the above mentioned collaborations, CSIR and its institutes have program / sector specific bilateral cooperation MoUs with many leading institutions abroad. One such example is the MoU between CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and Vietnam’s National Institute of Medicinal Materials.

Also, CSIR–ISTAD manages participation of CSIR institutes in many multilateral cooperation programs. One of the ways for implementing and supporting multilateral cooperation is CSIR’s membership in the multilateral S&T organizations and networks. CSIR is presently a member of Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) and the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organisations (WAITRO). CSIR - ISTAD makes annual subscription to these international agencies. ISTAD encourages participation of CSIR institutes in the multilateral/regional programs under ASEAN, BRICS, BIMSTEC, EU, G8, G20, IBSA, SCO and Commonwealth frameworks. CSIR institutes are also encouraged to benefit from the programs of OPCW.


ii) Capacity Building through education and research training for the developing countries’ scholars/researchers

CSIR in association with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) offers up to 30 fellowships per year to the scholars from developing countries for conducting PhD / postdoctoral research studies in CSIR Institutes. Two types of fellowships are offered: (a) Doctoral Fellowships (upto 4 years) and b) Postdoctoral Fellowships (upto 1 year). While TWAS meets the cost of international travel, CSIR takes care of the stay of research scholars in India.

Website links:

Also, CSIR institutes having state-of-the-art training facilities in terms of expertise, vast infrastructure, modern equipment, latest instrumentation, pilot plants and design facilities provide specialized training on request from Indian / foreign institutions/industry. In addition, CSIR institutes offer hundreds of structured training programs every year for foreign nationals under various programs of DST, DBT, SAARC-PTB and MEA-ITEC.


iii) Human Resource Development through training/fellowship opportunities for CSIR Scientists at centers of excellence abroad

ISTAD has been managing the in-house fellowship program of CSIR ’Raman Research Fellowships’ that provides exposure of the global centers of excellence to young and bright scientists of CSIR. Raman Research Fellowships (RRF) are granted to CSIR Scientists and technologists below the age of 45 years, with PG in engineering or PhD in Science, for carrying out research in the emerging / high priority areas of CSIR in reputed institutions / R&D centers of excellence abroad. Under the scheme currently a total of 54 man-months, divided among up to 12 scientists, are available annually. The Fellows are provided with roundtrip international travel, monthly fellowship of US$ 2500, a supplementary grant of US$ 1000 for participation in conferences / visiting institutions of excellence in the host country and a contingency / preparatory allowance of US$ 1000.


Why Cooperate with CSIR India

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, CSIR India, known for its cutting edge R&D knowledgebase in diverse S&T areas, is a contemporary R&D organization. Having a pan-India presence, CSIR has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centers, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units being manned by over 3500 active scientists supported by over 6000 scientific and technical personnel. CSIR conducts research that advances the knowledge, fuels economic growth, caters to strategic needs of the country and achieves societal welfare. These activities encompass a wide spectrum of science and technology – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, minerals & materials, housing & structures aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.

CSIR has maintained the tradition of delivering world-class technologies. A strong patent portfolio in select technology domains has made CSIR the Pioneer of India’s intellectual property movement. CSIR India caters to the technological needs of Indian as well as foreign industries based in India and abroad. Over the years CSIR has developed a vast array of innovative products, processes and technologies for its global partners in Germany, France, USA, UK and many other countries. CSIR provides technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts including environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, and farm and non-farm sectors. The new knowledge generated by CSIR can be accessed through its research publications; in 2019 to its credit CSIR had 5277 publications in scientific journals, many of which appeared on the cover page of leading journals.

CSIR India is among the global R&D leaders and has intrinsic strengths to provide

  • S&T expertise and knowledgebase in the development process through effective collaborations
  • Contract research facilities and expertise
  • Consultancy services
  • Human Resource Development opportunities (research apprenticeship, research and education scholarships, enrolment in PhD programs)

For any query and additional information and for building cooperation linkages with CSIR India please write to:

  • Dr (Mrs) RAMA SWAMI BANSAL
  • Chief Scientist and Head
  • International S&T Affairs Directorate (ISTAD)
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • Anusandhan Bhavan, 2, Rafi Marg,
  • New Delhi 110 001
  • Tel: +91-11-23736212; Fax: +91-11-23739041
  • Email: rsb@csir.res.in ; head.istad@csir.res.in