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Minister celebrates successful commitment of £200 million in UK-China Newton Fund collaboration

23 September 2016

The UK’s research and innovation partnership with China was highlighted by the UK’s Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Jo Johnson at the opening of the UK China Innovation is GREAT Showcase. He highlighted its success in establishing 37 joint funding initiatives and programmes such as the £21 million Research and Innovation Bridges programme and the Climate Science for Service Partnership.

Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “The future of science depends on collaboration and sharing expertise and China is an important science partner for the UK. Through the Newton Fund we’re working together on areas such as sustainable agriculture and smart cities to improve the lives of millions across the globe.

“The success of the Newton Fund and our exciting partnership demonstrates that our science and innovation relationship is going from strength to strength.”

The Science Minister is visiting Shanghai for a series of bilateral events and meetings highlighting the strength of the UK-China education and science and innovation relationship, alongside the UK’s Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Mark Walport and around 150 representatives from the UK’s Research Councils, universities and businesses.

Today (23rd September), he opened the UK China Innovation is GREAT Showcase event, and met with China’s Minister for Science and Technology Wan Gang for the UK China Joint Commission for Science and Technology. On 24th September, he will represent the UK as Country of Honour at the Pujiang Innovation Forum, and will officially open the Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Sciences, a joint centre between the UK’s John Innes Centre and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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Notes to Editors: 

Newton Fund in China: The UK China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund
The Newton Fund in China is referred to as the UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund. It builds science and innovation partnerships with China to support economic development and social welfare and supports the development of UK-China research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It supports a variety of themes: healthcare, urbanisation, a changing climate, food, energy, and water. Since April 2014, UK and Chinese partners have committed over £200m across 37 joint programmes and funding initiatives across mobility, research and translation strands. We have supported over 220 partnerships so far.

Further information about the Newton Fund is available at

The Research and Innovation Bridges programme is a joint UK China programme under the Newton Fund developing cutting edge solutions for agri-food, energy, healthcare, and urbanisation. At £21m this is largest ever bilateral call between UK and China and is currently moving through a rigorous joint review process.

The Climate Science for Service Partnership is a Newton programme already producing results, partnering our best scientists to support climate resilient development. This has produced over 50 papers so far. Outcomes include finding an increased probability of shorter, more intense rainfall in May in South-Eastern China due to anthropogenic climate change, and jointly developing a novel technique to make use of model outcomes being included in the UK National Flooding Resilience Review. The speed and volume of output on this programme is unprecedented in other international collaborations and will ensure climate resilient economic development and welfare in UK, China, and the world.

The Joint Commission for Science and Technology is the biennial meeting between the UK and China’s Science Ministers to review progress and set priorities for the bilateral science and innovation relationship. The last one was held in London in March 2014.

The Pujiang Innovation Forum

Initiated in 2008 and jointly organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Municipal Government of Shanghai, the "Pujiang Innovation Forum" has been successfully held eight times, attracting nearly 700 high-ranking government officials, well-known scholars and senior executive from academic and business circles. Their in-depth discussion on hotspot issues about innovation both at home and abroad produced a number of valuable opinions for economic development and innovation.