New Delhi: US agency USAID has forged an alliance with industry body FICCI for identification and investment in innovation by Indian civil society and academia and bring them to scale, which will provide solutions to various developmental challenges.
    
"USAID and FICCI will collaborate with Indian private sector sponsors and other stakeholders to establish an innovation platform called "The Millennium Alliance: An Indian-US Innovation Partnership for Global Development," USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said at the FICCI-USAID Development Innovation Partnership Forum here.
    
USAID and FICCI will contribute USD 7.5 million each to the initiative and will raise up to USD 50 million within the next 12 months to fund the project.
    
The alliance will be a platform to identify and invest in innovation by civil society, academia, social entrepreneurs and other private sector players and bring them to scale in India, he added.
    
With 80 missions around the world, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will take these innovations and introduce them globally, Shah said.
    
The Indian-American chief of USAID is in India on a two-day visit to hold discussions with government officials and others on development collaboration between the two countries.
    
Shah, the highest-ranking Indian-American in the Obama Administration, will also meet intellectual leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and members of non-governmental organisations during his visit.
    
USAID is an independent US agency providing economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the US.
    
With a budget of over USD 40 billion and nearly 2,000 employees, USAID is an independent federal agency that is responsible for most US foreign aid.
    
Shah said America's partnership with India has gradually evolved with the sub-continent.
    
"Gone are the days of donors and recipients. On Tuesday, India and the US are true partners -- strategically, economically and developmentally."
    
"India is now a pioneer of game-changing innovations that are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in development. We want to work with India's own knowledge base to raise incomes and improve livelihoods," he added.

Agencies