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Memorandum of Understanding for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between "National Environmental Engineering Institute" (CSIR-NEERI, India) and "Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies" (CNR-DSSTTA, Italy)

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, a society registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, having its registered office at Anusandhan Bhavan, 2 Rafi Marg, New Delhi-110001, hereinafter called as CSIR (which expression shall where the context so admits includes its successors and permitted assigns) through National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), one of its constituent laboratories of the one part.The Department of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies (DSSTTA) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) as another part aims to strengthen their mutual scientific cooperation in the field of environmental sciences and engineering by establishing a Permanent Platform on the Environment (PPE) as a first step towards the establishment of an "Indo-Italian Centre on Environmental Research" based in Nagpur at NEERI.

A.        Preliminary Remarks

NEERI and some research Institutes of DSSTTA have been collaborating for several years in the field of environmental studies. In particular, a series of projects which includes the exchange of scientists and the implementation of key research activities have been jointly approved by CSIR and CNR during the last few years:

·  2009 - 2011   "Novel methods for the management of sewage sludge with recourse to recovery and recycle- coordinated by Dr. C.M. Braguglia (CNR-IRSA) and Dr. A.N. Vaidya (CSIR-NEERI)

·  2012 - 2015   "Assessment of environmental hazard and groundwater vulnerability from ash ponds using stable and unstable isotopes<- coordinated by Dr. M. Voltaggio (CNR-IGAG) and Dr. S. Wate (CSIR-NEERI)

·  2012 - 2015   "Bioremediation and Rhizoremediation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Contaminated Soils<- coordinated by Dr. A. Massacci (CNR-IRSA) and Dr. A. Juwarkar (CSIR-NEERI)

·  2012 - 2015   "Structural and functional analysis of positive and detrimental effects of SNPs in miRNA and target proteins involved in xenobiotic metabolism and focal adhesion" - coordinated by Dr. P. Arrigo (CNR-ISMAC) and Dr. P.K. Naoghare (CSIR-NEERI)

In 2010, an Indo-Italian "Workshop on Sustainable Use of groundwater resources and side table on waste disposal and environmental pollution”,jointly sponsored by the Italian Embassy of New Delhi, CNR-IGAG and CSIR-NEERI, was also organized at NEERI in Nagpur. A volume of proceedings edited by P. Labhasetwar (CSIR-NEERI), P. Pujari (CSIR-NEERI) and M. Spadoni (CNR-IGAG) was finally produced.

B.        Objectives

Given their consolidated collaboration, NEERI and DSSTTA agree to establish a programme for scientific cooperation in areas of common interest, and in accordance with terms and conditions set forth in this memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The goal of this cooperation is to foster collaboration, to provide opportunity for the start-up of new research projects, and to facilitate advancement of knowledge on the basis of reciprocity, best effort, mutual benefit, and frequent interactions. In particular NEERI and DSSTTA agree:

a)    to exchange information on research programmes;

b)    to exchange information, learning material and other literature relevant to their research programmes;

c)    to jointly conduct short-term continuing research programmes on topics of mutual interest;

d)    to jointly organize seminars, conferences, or workshops on topics of mutual interest and to invite each other to participate therein;

e)    to jointly propose and engage in research sponsored by funding agencies and industrial partners of both countries, and to invite each other to participate therein;

f)     to exchange researchers on the basis of the existing protocol within the ongoing CSIR-CNR agreement;

g)    to facilitate mobility and exchange of postdoctoral researchers for joint supervision of thesis, specific technical-scientific training and other scientific activities.

In addition NEERI and DSSTTA also agree to take the necessary steps towards the establishment of an "Indo-Italian Centre on Environmental Research" that should act as a hub for development of novel research projects which hopefully involve Indian and Italian industrial partners operating in the field of environmental studies and natural resources management.

NEERI and DSSTTA agree that detailed terms and conditions that guide each activity identified above will be separately determined and agreed upon by the two institutions. These terms shall include a technical description of proposed activity, financial sources, arrangements, and persons responsible for its implementation.

C.        Joint Sponsored Research, Development and Consulting

NEERI and DSSTTA agree to encourage scientists from other institution to participate in research or development programmes already sponsored by external funding agencies. The terms and conditions for such participation will be worked by mutual agreement between the scientists and the institution extending such an invitation. The use of the opportunities given by the existing protocol between CSIR and CNR will be also encouraged.

When a scientist visits the other institution on invitation or as part of such joint research project, then such a visit will be classified as such, and handled as per rules of the individual institution.

D.        Exchange of Scientists and Staff

NEERI and DSSTTA agree to encourage collaboration between scientists from the two institutions and specifically encourage short visits at each other’s institution by using the ongoing CSIR-CNR official agreements.

Notwithstanding the above, NEERI and DSSTTA will examine ways to identify financial resources to fund international travel by their scientists.

E.        Joint Conferences, workshops and short-term courses

NEERI and DSSTTA agree to help identify and invite scientists from the other institution to participate in conferences and workshops.

When a scientist visits the other institution on invitation or as part of such joint activity, then such a visit will be classified as such, and handled as per rules of individual institution.

F.         Intellectual Property

NEERI and DSSTTA agree to respect each other’s rights to intellectual property. Further, the intellectual property rights that arises as a result of any collaborative research or activity under this MoU will be worked out on a case-to-case basis, and will be consistent with officially laid down IPR policies of the two institutions.

Publications and Patents

·         All publications in the programme of co-operation will be co-authored by the concerned staff/research fellow of CSIR-NEERI and DSSTTA. The coordination committee shall review the patentability aspect of the research work and direct whether a patent or a publication be made.

·         CSIR-NEERI & DSSTTA will be joint holders of the intellectual property Right (IPR)/ Patents flowing out of joint work. The decisions on ownership, licensing, costs, royalties, etc. shall be discussed and made by co-ordination committee and the co-ordination committee recommendations shall be processed in accordance with the framework of IP guidelines and rules governed by individual party at CSIR-NEERI and DSSTTA. These decisions shall be pre-specified and detailed in individual project/activity specific agreements that will follow under his MoU.

G.        Co-ordination

Each institution shall appoint one member of its staff to coordinate the programme on its behalf. Further, a coordination committee, consisting of (a) Director, NEERI, or his/her nominee, (b) Director, DSSTTA, or his/her nominee, (c) program coordinator from the side of NEERI, and (d) Programme Coordinator from the side of DSSTTA, will periodically review and identify ways to strengthen cooperation between the two institutions.

H.        Confidentiality

During the tenure of the agreement and 3 years thereafter both, CSIR-NEERI and DSSTTA undertake on their behalf and on behalf of their subcontractors/ employees/ representatives/ associates to maintain strict confidentiality and prevent disclosure thereof, of the information/ data exchanged/ generated pursuant to this agreement. CSIR-NEERI shall hold in confidence all the results of investigations conducted under this agreement or information learned by experience with DSSTTA. The confidential information shall not be disclosed to any other parties and/or competitors of DSSTTA.

I.          Tenure and Termination

This MoU will take effect from the date it is signed by representatives of the two institutions. It will remain valid for five years, and may be continued thereafter after suitable review and agreement.

Either institution may terminate the MoU by giving written notice to the other institution six months in advance. Once terminated, either NEERI or DSSTTA will be responsible for any losses, financial or otherwise, which the other institutions may suffer. However, NEERI and DSSTTA will ensure that all activities in progress are allowed to complete successfully.

J.         Arbitration Clause

Should there be a dispute relating to any aspect of academic cooperation, Director, NEERI and Director DSSTTA will jointly resolve the dispute in a spirit of independence, mutual respect, and shared responsibility.


Signed for

Signed for

National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI)

Nagpur (India)  

Dept. of Earth System Science and Environmental Technologies (DSSTTA)

Roma (Italy)

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