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New projects mark continuation of UK-India research partnership

New projects mark continuation of UK-India research partnership

Science Minister Sam Gyimah and Indian Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan

A series of joint UK-India research projects have been announced during a visit to India by UK Science Minister Sam Gyimah.

Sam Gyimah and Indian Minister of State for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan announced projects managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and collaborators in India during the biennial Science and Innovation Council meeting in New Delhi today, Thursday 26 July 2018.

The projects include:

  • Four new joint research projects worth £4.8 million under the 4th Phase Civil Nuclear Energy Programme, led by UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
  • Seven new projects worth £10 million under Phase 2 of the Global Research Programme on Health between UKRI (Medical Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council), the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Newton-Bhabha Fund
  • The renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
  • The renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR)
  • The launch of the Together for Impact report commissioned by UKRI-India which details the high-quality and high-impact research conducted in partnership between researchers from both countries in that period.

Speaking following the council meeting, Sam Gyimah said: “The UK is prioritising investment in research and development to address global challenges through its modern Industrial Strategy. India is the fastest rising research and innovation power in the world, and there is huge potential for enhanced UK-India collaboration for high-quality, high-impact research that changes lives.

“Today’s Science and Innovation Council meeting has reinforced our strong relationship, and the announcements we have jointly made today will ensure that cooperation continues to go from strength to strength.”

The visit marked a decade of partnership facilitated by a representative office for UK research and innovation in India.

Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UKRI, said: “From public health and water quality to food production and energy supply and demand, researchers in the UK and India are working together to address some of the most pressing issues of our time.

“The projects announced today emphasise both this shared endeavour and UKRI’s commitment to creating opportunities for the UK to collaborate with the best researchers from around the world.” 

Building on UKRI-India joint programmes announced as part of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UK in April 2018, new projects have now been awarded under these initiatives, as part of the Newton-Bhabha Fund. These include:

  • Four new projects worth £5.2 million under the Pulses and Oilseeds Research Initiative led by UKRI’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and India’s DBT, aimed at increasing the productivity, resilience, sustainability and quality pulses, oilseeds grown for food/feed in India
  • Five new projects worth £9.9 million under the Biotechnological Solutions for Tackling Industrial Waste Programme led by UKRI (BBRSC, EPSRC and Innovate UK) in partnership with India’s DBT, facilitating academic and industrial collaboration to help address industrial waste, and improve value recovery from waste using biotechnology across some large industrial sectors in India.

Professor Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Daniel Shah, Director of UKRI-India and Dr Tim Willis, Director, International at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, represented UKRI at the Science and Innovation Council meeting.