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UK Minister announces £1 million Newton Fund Prize to recognise world-leading science and innovation

30 June 2016

UK Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson has today (30th June 2016) announced an annual £1 million Newton Prize to recognise the Newton Fund’s best science or innovation that promote the economic development and social welfare of partner countries.

The announcement was made during the Minister’s speech at the Wellcome Trust today, which set out how the UK can be a scientific powerhouse in the new age of global science.

Each year, from 2017/18 until 2021, five Newton funded research partnerships or teams, each from a different Newton partner country, will be awarded the Newton Prize. Each Prize will be worth £200,000 and can be used towards the future science and innovation of the winning partnership to take their work to the next level.

The Newton Prize will be awarded by an independent Newton Prize Committee that will review nominations and make the final decision on the winner. The Minister announced today that Committee will be chaired by Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society and Nobel Prize winner, whose many scientific contributions include his work on the atomic structure of the ribosome, yielding many fundamental biological insights. 

Mr Johnson said: “We are creating a new £1 million Newton Prize, starting next year. This will not be just a one off, but an annual prize – awarded for the best science or innovation projects that promote the economic development and social welfare of Newton partner countries. And I am very pleased to announce that Sir Venki Ramakrishnan has agreed to chair the Newton Prize Committee. Sir Venki brings a wealth of scientific and international experience and I am immensely grateful that he has agreed to do this.”


Katie Clark

Senior Communications Manager, Newton Fund

Tel: 01793 444388 | 07920 246109


  1. The Newton Fund is a £735 million fund, which uses science and innovation partnerships to promote economic development and social welfare of 15 partner countries: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. These countries provide matched resources for the science and innovation partnerships with the UK. The Fund is managed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and administered through 15 UK delivery partners, including the Research Councils, National Academies, British Council, Innovate UK and the Met Office. Delivery partners collaboratively work together with partner countries’ funders on bi-lateral and multi-lateral programmes with a science and innovation focus, allowing the UK and partner countries to build strong, sustainable, systemic relationships.