The UK and Jordan sign agreement to strengthen cooperation in research and innovation through the Newton Fund
The Governments of the UK and Jordan have today (16 August 2017) committed to strengthening their collaborative partnership in research and innovation through the Newton Fund.
The two countries have signed an Agreement at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Amman to signify the establishment of the Newton-Khalidi Fund, which is the UK-Jordan partnership as part of the wider Newton Fund family. The Agreement was signed by the British Ambassador to Jordan, Edward Oakden, and the Minister for Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, and was witnessed by Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya.
The Newton-Khalidi Fund marks a step-change in the bilateral research relationship and will enable the brightest minds from both countries to make new discoveries and tackle global challenges together to make a real difference to the lives of people living in Jordan. The Newton Fund provides a platform for talented scientists from around the world to develop new knowledge partnerships in science, technology and innovation. The Newton-Khalidi Fund will focus on increasing capability for individuals and institutions and further developing joint research and innovation programmes among academics, business, and government institutions.
The Newton Fund in Jordan has been named the Newton-Khalidi Fund in honour of the Jordanian scientist Dr. Usama al-Khalidi, a biochemist who dedicated his life to teaching generations of scientists and medical students across the Arab world and who believed that only through the promotion of science and technology would the countries of the Arab world have a chance for sustainable development.
Some of the key areas for collaboration under the Newton-Khalidi Fund include:
British Ambassdor to Jordan Edward Oakden said: “Today, we pledge to strengthen collaboration between the UK and Jordan in research and innovation, as we aim to build a strong, sustainable and systemic relationship between our science communities.
“This generation, and the one that follows, will in all likelihood come to know technologies that today we can’t even imagine. They will tackle, and find solutions to, complex global challenges like water scarcity, food shortage and sustainable clean energy. The Newton Fund will help to bring together the scientists, researchers and innovators who will find these solutions. Let’s see what we can discover together.”
Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya said: “The areas of mutual interest listed in this Memorandum of Understanding express our two nations’ shared vision for development that is science-based and universally applicable.”
“The key question is how we can devise a policy and project infrastructure that transcends politics and political terms of office. I know that the Newton-Khalidi Fund can be a part of that solution.”
Minister for Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury said that the agreement is part of the “ongoing support and cooperation” between Jordan and the UK. The minister noted that the MoU aims to encourage and support research and innovation in the Kingdom in order to achieve long-term, sustainable growth and expand cooperation between government policy makers, research organisations, higher education institutions, companies and institutions in research and innovation.
Stressing the “deep-rooted” strategic relations between Amman and London, Minister Fakhoury added that the UK is one of Jordan’s main partners in the development process, particularly in supporting vital sectors such as education and water, as well as its “great role” in “standing by Jordan” in the face of the repercussions of the Syrian crisis.
An official launch event for the Newton-Khalidi Fund will take place in November 2017 which will also announce details of the first collaborative activities under the Fund.
The Jordan Times featured an article on the signing of the agreement.