By Dr Nafees Meah, Director, RCUK India
To mark the 5th anniversary of the establishment of Research Councils UK (RCUK) in India we hosted a GREAT week celebrating the UK-India collaboration on research and innovation bringing together over 200 senior academics, research funders, policy makers and key government officials from both countries to deliver a high-impact week.
Research is the fastest growing area of bilateral cooperation between the UK and India. We announced an important milestone with joint research collaboration now reaching £150M, up from £1M in 2008.
These joint grants now fund more than 80 high-quality, high-impact research projects involving over 90 industry partners.
The benefits include clean energy for Indian villages; improved storing and handling of nuclear waste; assessment of the aquifer system in NW India; and patents and products on advanced technologies that deliver services to rural India. RCUK India are proud to have launched ‘New Horizons’, which details all of these exciting projects. This can be found here.
We also held 4 roundtable discussions to explore potential areas for future collaboration and we will be publishing reports of these discussions in the coming few weeks.
- Sustainable Cities
- Food-Water-Energy Nexus
- Big Data and e-Infrastructure
- Understanding Rapid Social Change
Sir James Bevan, British High Commissioner to India and Prof Sir Mark Walport, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor hosted a Reception, including an exhibition of some of the projects, in the areas of nutrition, climate change, digital technologies and social sciences.
During the reception DFID, RCUK and India’s Department of Biotechnology signed a Letter of Intent for the Global Research Partnership which will fund collaborative trilateral research partnerships with low income countries addressing major global challenges on health, food security and women.
This reception was also the first event to feature the new ‘Research is GREAT’ posters, recently commissioned in association with RCUK. These posters will be appearing all over the world to promote the high-quality research taking place in the UK.
Another important event during the week was the UK-India Science and Innovation policy dialogue, co-chaired by Sir Mark Walport and Dr Ramasami. This agreed to focus on fewer, more strategic challenges to deliver real-world impact. Ideas will be developed in time for the next Ministerial bilateral to take place after the Indian general elections in 2014.
In a week when the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister were in India celebrating our stronger, wider, deeper relationship with India, our events provided one of the best examples of what that increasingly looks like. The focus on strategy and impact in the next 5 years will help turn excellent research and innovation partnerships into increasing benefits for both countries.
So, overall it was a very busy week for RCUK India, but huge thanks goes to everyone involved from both the UK and India, thank you for being part of this GREAT week… RCUK India.