BHC Celebrates UK-India Partnership on Research & Innovation

To commemorate UK-India collaboration on research and innovation, the British High Commission, New Delhi is celebrating Research & Innovation Week from November 11-15. During the week, the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN), Department for International Development (DFID) South Asia Research Hub and the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) in partnership with Research Councils UK (RCUK) India are bringing together senior academics, research funders, policy makers and key government officials from both the countries.

Research is the fastest growing area of bilateral cooperation. Highpoint of the celebration this week is the announcement of £150mn in UK-India joint research collaboration, since 2008. (Please refer to announcements in the end)

Speaking at the UK-India Research and Innovation Showcase, held in New Delhi, Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, said:

“India and the UK make for excellent partners in research and innovation and the relationship has gone from strength to strength. The UK’s research community punches significantly above its weight, producing 14% of the world’s most highly cited research publications. In any field you look at, we truly value the enormous contributions that scientists of Indian origin bring to make British research and innovation great.’’

Jointly hosted by British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, KCMG, and Sir Mark Walport, the event to celebrate the RCUK India’s fifth anniversary was also held at the British High Commission in New Delhi.

Prof Paul Boyle, RCUK International Champion, said, “RCUK India has a clear goal – for the UK to become India’s partner of choice in research. The joint research programme has gone from an almost zero base prior to 2008 to close to £150mn now, funding more than 80 high-quality, high-impact research projects involving over 90 industry partners – and this continues to grow’’

Dr T Ramasami, Secretary to the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to congratulate our two countries on building an epic partnership in the field of research and innovation. I am particularly pleased at our advancement towards building academic and industry links”.

The India-UK Collaborative Industrial R&D Programme was launched with an ultimate aim to develop innovative products and services to deliver economic and social benefits. New funding up to £5mn from the Technology Strategy Board which is the UK’s innovation agency, with matched resources from India’s Department of Science Technology (DST) was announced for industrial R&D collaboration. It will support business-led projects between Indian and UK companies.

David Golding, Head of Strategy at the Technology Strategy Board, UK said in New Delhi, “The Technology Strategy Board is very pleased to be working with the Global Innovation & Technology Alliance and the Department of Science & Technology. This is a very important and exciting opportunity. Combining the best of Indian and UK expertise and capabilities has the potential to lead to some truly innovative developments, to the benefit of both countries.”

This is the first bilateral programme to be established between the Global Innovation & Technology Alliance, on behalf of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, and the Technology Strategy Board, UK.