UKRI India announces new initiatives during UK PM’s visit to India

UK and India flags together in a textile cloth fabric texture

One year into the 2030 roadmap for India-UK future relations, Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi welcomed progress across several bilateral agendas.

The 2030 roadmap was agreed between the two Prime Ministers in May 2021 as a shared ambition over the next decade, highlighting areas of bilateral cooperation ranging from:

  • defence and security
  • trade and investment
  • education
  • research and innovation
  • people and culture.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) India announced new UK-India projects in mutual priority areas listed under the roadmap, including:

  • offshore wind energy research
  • cultural heritage and creative industries
  • electric mobility.

Further details on these projects

Offshore wind energy research partnership

The Prime Ministers welcomed UK-India collaboration in offshore wind energy research in a new joint partnership between:

  • UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) catapult
  • India’s National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE).

With the strategic ambition to strengthen UK-India efforts on offshore wind energy, UKRI has funded scoping projects. This includes a technical report led by ORE Catapult and strongly supported by NIWE’s unique capabilities.

This partnership will facilitate future collaborative research and technology development, which will help unlock green, affordable energy while helping boost the supply chain opportunities in India and the UK.

India-UK collaborations in cultural heritage and the creative industries

The Prime Ministers looked forward to deepening research collaboration in cultural heritage and the creative industries.

This includes:

  • a new scoping study on UK-India cultural heritage research commissioned by UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Historical Research
  • a scoping study to map and analyse the value of UK-India collaboration in the creative industries, commissioned by AHRC in partnership with UKRI’s Innovate UK and the British Council.

AHRC also announced four impact and engagement projects under the themes of cultural heritage and creative industries. This is part of the UK’s partnership in India’s celebration of 75 years of independence in 2022.

Electric vehicles business models roadmap for Indian cities

The Prime Ministers welcomed bilateral progress on the electric mobility agenda.

Advancing this agenda, UKRI funded the production of an electric vehicles (EV) business models roadmap for Indian cities developed by the UK’s Connected Places catapult.

The roadmap focusses on policy and market assessment of electric two-wheeler vehicles in India.

It acts as a practical springboard for building and strengthening stakeholder relationships in industry and local government between the UK and India.

It also creates an evidence-based framework to enable on-the-ground pilots and scaling up of shared electric mobility models in Indian cities.

Building on the roadmap’s ambitions

Sukanya Kumar, Acting Director, UKRI India said:

I am very pleased that UKRI’s efforts with our partners in India build so clearly on the ambitions set by the 2030 roadmap.

Each activity welcomed by the Prime Ministers celebrates the excellence and expertise in the UK and Indian research and innovation systems, and our joint ability to deliver these efforts seamlessly as unified UK-India teams.

I am confident that these and other UKRI-India initiatives will continue to boost our collaboration across the remit of UKRI.

Sharing expertise, knowledge and experience

Professor Christopher Smith, UKRI’s International Champion said:

The partnership between India and the UK is a brilliant example of how international research and innovation collaboration plays a vital role in exploring solutions to global problems, from sustainable fashion to reducing air pollution.

Sharing our expertise, knowledge, and experience through partnerships has brought positive benefits across India, the UK and globally, and we look forward to building on those successes in the years ahead.

Further information

Links to projects referenced and principal investigators (PI):

ORE Catapult

Tracing the digital thread: a scoping project of culture heritage practise in India
PI: Deborah Sutton, Lancaster University (AH/X00001X/1)

Overview and mapping of the creative industries in India
PI: Graham Hitchen, Loughborough University (AH/X000168/1)

Border crossings: exploring history and community through virtual reality at the 75th anniversary of the Partition
PI: Navtej Purewal, SOAS (AH/X000184/1)

Creative archives: producing, preserving and showcasing transnational India film heritage
PI: Monia Acciari, De Montfort University (AH/X000176/1)

Follow-on funding for two centuries of Indian print project
PI: Arani Ilankuberan, British Library (AH/X000516/1)

India-UK creative industries at 75: opportunities and challenges
PI: Rajinder Dudrah, Birmingham City University (AH/X000192/1)

Connected Places Catapult and the EV business models roadmap (PDF, 5.6MB)

Top image:  Credit: Oleksii Liskonih, iStock, Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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