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SAMEER, the R&D laboratory of Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), on Friday (26 January) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Siemens Healthineers that will contribute towards the development of new, improved and innovative technologies for advancing healthcare and diagnostic access in India.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Minister of State for Electroncis and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Welcoming the strategic agreement, the minister said it will make available low-cost MRIs as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of providing quality, and affordable healthcare and diagnostic access for every Indian.

He further said that the MoU is a significant step in paving the way for India to move from being a consumer of technology to produce of technology, devices and products.

Stating that healthcare sector in India represents a big market, the minister said that the government is prepared to partner with global companies who are willing to set up manufacturing bases in India,

“We are also supportive of R&D model based on co-development between Global companies and India’s vast network of academic institutions," the minister said, according to a MeitY release.

He further said that the government is willing to site with experts from the healthcare sector to chart out the curriculum for grooming the next-gen talent in India.

SAMEER, which is the acronym for Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research, specialises in RF microwaves radar and communication systems, E3 testing and medical electronics.

The minister expressed hope that the partnership while synergizing the expertise of SAMEER and Siemens Healthineers in healthcare technologies particularly in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Linear Accelerators (LINAC), will pursue joint activities that will improve access to MRI in India.

“Siemens is a good partner of India not just in health care but also in other sectors as well,” he added.  

Speaking on the occasion, SAMEER director general P Hanumantha Rao said that the institution has been pursuing R&D in the advanced Linear accelerators for cancer therapy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems for diagnostics.

He also highlighted that the partnership will help in creating local industry access for Siemens Healthineers, and in turn, SAMEER will get access to next-generation research in advanced healthcare technologies.

These initiatives will enable India’s health mission towards deploying healthcare technologies for early diagnostics and treatment to save lives across the country.

Currently, SAMEER is developing IMRI (Indigenous Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technology under the Sushrut MRI (Indian MRI) system, said Rajesh Harsh, who is coordinating the research in MRI and Industry ecosystem. 

Peter Schardt, Chief Technology Officer, Siemens Healthineers said, "The partnership will focus on fighting the most life-threatening diseases and strive to make healthcare even more efficient, sustainable, and humane for everyone across the country."