By Dr Nafees Meah, Director, RCUK India
We, at Research Councils UK India, have a very clear goal and that is to be India’s partner of choice in research by developing a sustainable, strategic partnership of high quality research focussed on jointly agreed priorities.
In November 2013, RCUK India will celebrate 5 years of strong partnership building with India. During these 5 years, the value, breadth and depth of UK-India co-funded research has seen an enormous leap from less than £1m in 2008, to over £100m today covering a wide spectrum of research challenges in the areas of energy, health, ICT, medicine, environmental and social sciences.
RCUK India has facilitated an impressive portfolio of over 80 high quality, high impact UK-India research partnerships involving over 90 industry partners.
‘Impact’ is crucial! We must ensure that the research leads to innovation, and a better understanding of the physical and social world. Strong links between academia and business in both India and the UK will enable innovation and prosperity.
A big impetus for science and innovation comes from India’s 12th Five Year Plan, which states that ‘we must be guided by a vision of India moving forward in a way that would ensure a broad-based improvement in living standards of all sections of the people, through a growth process which is faster, more inclusive and also environmentally sustainable.’
The plan highlights science, technology and innovation as playing a central role in this vision, and the six major science Ministries will see a substantial increase in funding. If India’s ambition of investing 2% of GDP on R&D is achieved and the quality of its research base is improved, then India, by virtue of its size and population, is likely to be one of the most important scientific nations in the world in the next ten years.
Working in partnership is crucial to the success of RCUK India, and in November we celebrate the success and the UK-India research partnership, in the last 5 years.
RCUK India along with the UK’s Science and Innovation Network is hosting a series of events week beginning 11 November to mark its five successful years of collaboration with India. The week will bring together senior policy makers, researchers and industrial partners from both the UK and India to build on this successful collaboration for the ultimate benefit of the society and economy in both countries, as well as the world at large.
Watch this space for more updates as RCUK India turns five!