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India and UK team up to drive scientific and cultural boundaries

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A series of joint India-UK research initiatives worth more than £80 million were announced today by Indian Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan and UK Science Minister, Jo Johnson.

The investments were announced during the India-UK Tech Summit being held in New Delhi and attended by Indian and UK Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Theresa May. The TECH Summit has brought together British science and technology experts and businesses to India to show the best of what the UK has to offer.

Supported by The Newton-Bhabha Fund, Research Councils UK, and Indian funding partners, the joint research will address major global challenges including healthcare, energy and food security.

Jo Johnson, UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation said: “The joint research programmes announced today show the depth and breadth of the relationship that exists between India and UK. They will increase our collective knowledge, improve the lives of ordinary citizens and help tackle some of the major infrastructure and environmental challenges that lie ahead. Research has to be international and collaborative in its focus because the problems we face do not recognise borders.”

Hon’able Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted that Hon’able Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had declared that 2016 would be the Indo-UK year. He stressed that the presence of two prime ministers in the inauguration of the Tech Summit spells out the resolve of the two countries to take their partnership to the greatest heights with science as a crucial tool to alleviate the sufferings of each and every individual.

Possibilities of collaborations are extraordinary and they need to grow rapidly to boost quality science education and research in the new and upcoming institutions of excellence. Quality would entail scaling up opportunities of young scientists in these institutions to interact with scientists from UK through workshops and seminars, international level training in diagnosis, analysis and interpretation and exposing scientists from UK to the diversity of challenges that India offers which can inspire basic science”, Professor K VijayRaghavan, Secretary DBT pointed out at a panel discussion at the summit.tech

Professor Philip Nelson, Chair of the RCUK Executive Group and CEO of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) said: “International research collaborations that draw on the talents of academics across the world, are vital for us to tackle the big global challenges. Cooperation improves understanding of different cultures and ways of working. The UK’s Research Councils will use the calls and projects announced today to build a prosperous, cleaner and healthier future.”

UK-India research initiatives, supported by the Newton-Bhabha Fund, Research Councils UK and Indian funding partners, to address major global challenges and expand cultural horizons:

  • A £15 million India-UK research programme strengthen the global fight against anti-microbial resistance (AMR). The Indian and UK science ministers announced the investment when they opened the inaugural meeting of the Research Councils UK-India Strategic Group on AMR, in Delhi.
  • A £16 million programme to support commercially focused research and development partnerships that bring innovative biotechnologies to market for cleaning, processing and using industrial waste streams.
    Partners: India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Research Councils UK, Innovate UK
  • A £12.6 million phase 2 of Global Research Programme in Women’s and Children’s health between India and UK, which will study reproductive health issues facing women and their unborn children in low and middle income countries.
    Partners: DBT, MRC, Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Five new India-UK projects have been awarded funding under the £6.5 million programme on Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity. These projects will investigate the human health impacts of urban air pollution in the Indian megacity of Delhi.
    Partners: DBT, Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), NERC, MRC
  • Seven new India-UK projects have been awarded funding under a £5 million programme to address post-harvest food processing challenges including affordable and improved food packaging, processes to control ripening and reduce spoilage, and green technologies for food distribution.
    Partners: DBT, RCUK, Innovate UK

Additional Research Councils UK programmes are:

Since 2011, RCUK India has facilitated co-funded initiatives among the United Kingdom, India and third parties that have grown to over £200 million in joint research programmes supporting over 100 projects and including over 90 industry partners.

The UK research councils will continue to build on these existing research collaborations with India and UK researchers, research facilities and research institutions will carry on working together solving the numerous pressing challenges that face both countries.

DBT-UK ongoing Collaborations

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