Researchers and research fellows at a number of Norwegian research communities are taking part in four Norwegian-Indian cooperative projects on fish and animal vaccines. At least as many people at Indian universities and research institutions are participating in the projects. Cooperating on fish and animal vaccines is part of the large-scale collaboration on vaccine research agreed upon in Delhi in December 2005 by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Indian Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal. The actual research contract is between the Research Council of Norway and the Department of Biotechnology under India's Ministry of Science and Technology.The four projects currently under way are the result of a joint call for proposals in Norway and India. The deadline for submission of grant applications was April 2007, and a joint panel of experts was appointed to assess the scientific merit of the proposals received. The relevance and suitability of proposals in the context of Norwegian-Indian project collaboration was assessed by the research councils of both countries. Funding awards were approved in March 2008, and by 1 January 2009 all formal agreements had been entered into and the four projects were up and running.
The project managers of the Norwegian projects recently met at the Research Council to exchange insights about the status of the projects and their experience with the process, and to ensure coordination of the Norwegian efforts. There was broad consensus that this cooperative effort would be beneficial to all: