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UK and India sign agreement to collaborate on science and innovation

The UK and India have signed a landmark agreement to collaborate on science and innovation, which aims to remove red tape standing in the way of major collaborations while unleashing a raft of new joint research schemes aiming to deliver progress on some of the biggest issues facing the world, from climate change and pandemic preparedness through to AI and machine learning.

The memorandum of understanding on research between the two countries was signed in Parliament yesterday, enabling quicker, deeper collaboration on science between the two science powerhouses that will drive economic growth, create skilled jobs, and improve lives in the UK, India, and worldwide.

The UK-India Net Zero Innovation Virtual Centre focusing on industrial decarbonisation and launching the first-ever UK-India scientific deep sea voyage are among the programmes that will be established.

India has also been named as a partner for the UK’s International Science Partnerships Fund, carrying forward the UK-India science partnership built through the Newton-Bhabha fund. This renewed partnership will kick off with two new joint UK-India research programmes:

  • £5 million UK funding, matched by India, for research into Farmed Animal Diseases and Health
  • £3.3 million UK funding, matched by India, towards a technology and skills partnership programme that will enable UK and Indian researchers to develop skills, technologies, and knowledge in areas such as AI, machine learning, and bio-imaging.

Minister of State for the new Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology George Freeman said: “Today’s agreement is part of our program of deepening UK collaboration with other global science superpowers on ground-breaking innovation and research, to help tackle shared global challenges. This partnership will grow the sectors, companies, and jobs of tomorrow for the benefit of both our countries and the globe.”

The collaborative activities carried out under the MoU will be supported by joint funding agreed by both sides, with finances for each program determined between the UK and India on a case-by-case basis.