and let me begin by thanking Minister Deshmukh for rearranging his schedule and being here today so that together we could highlight the excellent work that is taking place in the area of science and technology. And I thank you, Minister, for your warm welcome and for your personal work to strengthen trade and partnership between India and the United States. Our two great democracies share an enduring commitment to innovation. For decades, scientists, engineers, and social innovators from India and the United States have worked side-by-side. The most famous example, perhaps, are the agricultural improvements that led to the Green Revolution.
Today, I met entrepreneurs from an organization called Digital Green who are carrying on that work using technology to share agricultural best practices with farmers themselves. It is now possible, thanks to communications technology, for farmers to be in their villages looking at videos about agricultural techniques that they then can apply in their own work. Innovations like this – the one from Digital Green – has a ripple effect, generating economic growth, strengthening communities, supporting rural livelihoods, and improving health outcomes. We want to make it possible for more Indian and American entrepreneurs to collaborate on new ventures, more scientists and scholars to share data and build upon each other’s research, more students to live and learn together at each of our universities. Ultimately, we hope to foster generations of innovative thinkers and leaders who will continue to improve the lives of the Indian and American people and contribute to improving the lives of people everywhere.
We also want our governments to embrace the spirit of innovation to improve our own work and strengthen our partnership. And let me give you a few examples as to how we’re doing this: First, I am proud to announce the winner of the first U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Board grant. That is an initiative that I was privileged to launch with Minister Krishna on my first visit in early 2009 as Secretary here. The grant goes to a partnership between an American startup, Promethean Power, and India-based Icelings. They have developed a solar-powered system for refrigerated storage to keep fresh fruits and vegetables from spoiling. And this is a huge advance for India because lack of storage causes Indian farmers to lose approximately $10 billion in crops each year. This innovation promises farmers more income while also improving consumer’s access to fresh produce throughout the year. This partnership united different experiences and areas of expertise, and now with a little help from the endowment fund, Promethean Power and Icelings are helping solve a practical challenge that will make a real difference to people’s lives and incomes.
Second, I want to highlight a new Millennium Alliance initiated last year by USAID, our development agency, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry that is supported by the Government of India. This public-private partnership will help fund development solutions that deliver sustainable results for people and can be shared