India and the UK on Tuesday announced a Newton Fund research programme worth up to USD 80 million to jointly address global societal challenges. The announcement was made in the national capital by Jo Johnson, the UK’s Minister for Universities, Science and Innovation. The Minister also launched the first annual USD 1 million Newton Prize, which will recognise the Newton Fund’s best science or innovation that promote economic development and social welfare of partner countries.
For 2017, the prize is open to entries from India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam which focus on the grand societal challenge of public health and well-being, covering issues such as anti-microbial resistance, disease, healthcare, and nutrition.
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“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 are working together to improve the lives of millions across the world, we are continuing to look at opportunities to expand this partnership to include funding for social science and humanities programmes,” Jhonson said at India-Tech UK Summit at the British High Commission.
Jhonson, along with Union Minister for Science and Technology Harshvardhan, announced a number of new UK-India Newton Fund research programmes, worth up to USD 80 million, in areas including water quality, anti-microbial resistance and women and children’s health.
“This takes the joint investment in research programmes through the Newton Fund in India to up to USD 200 million until 2021 (USD 104 million from the UK match funded by Indian partners) to jointly address global societal challenges,” an official statement said.