UKIBC Data Collaboration Roundtable – Exploring the Future of the UK-India Tech Partnership

By Sachin Aggarwal

Data is the lifeblood of innovation and AI the backbone of ‘Industry 4.0’ opening immense opportunities for cross-sector collaboration between the UK and India under the Tech Partnership announced by Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister May in April 2018.

Exploring how this important G2G initiative can act as a catalyst for business-led data analytics and innovation, the UK India Business Council last week brought senior Indian Government Officials from MeitY, Niti Aayog, and MyGov around the table with leading UK and Indian businesses and UK Government Officials in Delhi.

The roundtable acknowledged the fundamental role data protection plays in facilitating innovation and the wider Tech Partnership. Participants were therefore grateful for this opportunity to contribute towards the ongoing consultation regarding India’s draft Personal Data Protection Bill, widely regarded as a positive step in enabling a systematic approach to data protection in line with global norms.

In particular, participants discussed how the proposal for a UK-India joint Data Garage, outlined in UKIBC’s recent member-led report ‘Data: The Foundation of Intelligent Economies’, could empower our businesses, higher education institutions, start-ups, and NGO’s to drive the innovation critical to a sustainable and successful Tech Partnership

It was suggested that a joint Data Garage has the potential to unite participants under a common set of protocols that facilitate innovation and collaboration particularly in high-impact sectors such as healthcare. On this basis participants are keen to move ahead and develop an in-depth business case outlining how a Data Garage could help to address the market access barriers to realising our shared ambitions.

Likewise, we are keen to support further collaboration between the UK and India authorities in delivering the provisions of the Bill as a new independent and tech-savvy Data Protection Authority comes online in India.

With the right approach, participants were optimistic that in the long-term a G2G Common Data Agreement between the UK and India is a feasible and desirable ambition for the UK-India Tech Partnership.

In particular, we are very grateful to Shri Pankaj Kumar, Additional Secretary of MeitY, Shri Yaduvendra Mathur, Additional Secretary of NITI Aayog, and Shri Arvind Gupta, CEO of MyGov for their extremely valuable input and support during this Roundtable and we look forward to working with all participants in taking forward the business case for a UK-India Data Garage.


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