Research Councils UK and Biotechnology Dept sign Work Agreement

Prof Jane Elliott

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India and Research Councils UK (RCUK) India have signed a letter of intent to work together in Climate Change and Agriculture, Antimicrobial Resistance and Vaccine Development. This new initiative was announced during the India Prime Minister’s visit to the UK last week and was endorsed by British Prime Minster Shri David Cameron and Shri Narendra Modi. This letter of intent was now signed by the Prof Vijay Raghavan, Secretary to India’s Department of Biotechnology and Professor Jane Elliott, RCUK’s International Lead and Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) at an event on Friday 19.11.2015. This eventis organized as a part of a series of events leading up to the 30th Foundation Day celebrations of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), in February 2016.

One such DBT’s key celebratory events in the build up to their Foundation Day was a networking evening in partnership with Research Councils UK (RCUK) India, held on Thursday 19th November 2015 at the British High Commission to showcase the highly successful India-UK collaborative research portfolio.

The event brought together senior representatives from the UK and India such as, Prof Sir Mark Walport,Government Chief Scientific Adviser in the United Kingdom, Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India; along with senior researchers and policy makers.

Prof Vijay Raghavan in his key note address commented, “Collaborations between extraordinary scientists such as Dr J C Bose and Sir Walter Raleigh were followed in institutions building udders under the leadership of those such as Homi Bhaba who were trained in the UK. Support by organisations like the British Council and Department of Science and Technology for exchange programmes have led to bonding and exchange of ideas, which then developed into major collaborative programmes. We are moving on those foundations to develop new programmes which India should take up in collaboration with the UK. “

Since 2008, RCUK India has facilitated an impressive portfolio of joint research between DBT and partner Research Councils in the UK. The DBT-RCUK joint research programmes contribute significantly towards cutting edge research in the areas of life sciences, biotechnology and interdisciplinary research that addresses global challenges– such as food security, energy, health and well-being.

Research Councils UK (RCUK) India, launched in 2008, brings together the best researchers in the UK and India through high-quality, high-impact research partnerships. RCUK India, based at the British High Commission in New Delhi, has facilitated co-funded initiatives between the UK, India and third parties exceeding £200 million. The research collaborations are often closely linked with UK and Indian industry partners, with more than 90 partners involved in the research. RCUK India is actively involved in co-funded research activities with seven major Indian research funders on a wide array of research themes addressing global challenges. www.rcuk.ac.uk/india

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