8 November 2016
The UK Science Minister has today announced a series of research programmes from the Newton Fund worth up to £80 million to address global societal challenges affecting people living in India.
The investments were announced during an event at the UK-India TECH Summit – India’s premier science and technology showcase – in New Delhi. The UK and Indian Prime Ministers Theresa May and Narendra Modi have attended the TECH Summit, which has brought together British and Indian science and technology experts and businesses to connect and explore the future of UK-India collaboration.
The new programmes take the total joint UK-India investment in research programmes through the Newton Fund to up to £200 million by 2021, demonstrating the Fund as a major bilateral initiative in India for facilitating research and innovation collaborations. It brings together the world class excellence of the UK and India to address global challenges through the application of science and technology.
Jo Johnson announced a number of the new UK-India Newton Fund programmes at the Education, Science and Innovation Futures event on 8th November, which was attended by world-leading scientists and senior research policy leaders. These were:
Other new UK-India Newton Fund programmes will be delivered by other UK delivery partners, including the British Council and the UK Academies, in collaboration with Indian partners.
During the event, Jo Johnson launched the first annual £1 million Newton Prize, which will recognises the Newton Fund's best science or innovation that promote the economic development and social welfare of partner countries. For 2017, the Prize is open to existing Newton Fund programmes in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam which focus on the grand societal challenge of public health and wellbeing, covering issues such as anti-microbial resistance, disease, healthcare, and nutrition.
The Minister also celebrated a major programme to digitise the vast wealth of Indian printed books held by the British Library dating from 1713 to 1914. Two Centuries of Indian Print - a British Library project funded by the Newton Fund through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) – has been extended to digitise an addition 3,000 books from the collection, meaning that 4,000 early Bengali books will be digitised and made accessible to researchers around the world as part of the project.
Jo Johnson said: "The future of science and innovation depends on collaboration and India continues to be a vital science partner for the UK. Through the Newton Fund we’re working together to improve the lives of millions across the world and we are continuing to look at opportunities to expand this partnership to include funding for social science and humanities programmes.”
Notes to Editors