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UK and India pledge additional £47m for joint research projects

Prime minister David Cameron has announced that India and the UK will together provide an additional £47 million for joint research programmes bringing total bilateral spending on research and education to £100m.

The new funding, announced as part of Cameron’s trade mission to India, targets healthcare, technology, biological science and energy programmes, alongside a number of collaborative university projects. In addition Cameron announced funding for education programmes, including English language training for 1.5 million teachers in India by 2017 and a £10m Open University scheme to train one million teachers.

Of the research funding, £11m will go toward setting up a Centre for Chemical Biology and Therapeutics between the University of Cambridge and the Indian government’s Department of Biotechnology. There will be £10m for a livestock research programme and £6m for an advanced manufacturing programme.

A further £10m has been awarded to each of two energy programmes, one on smart energy grids and energy storage, and one on bioenergy. Also announced was Warwick Business School’s creation of a global energy research centre with India’s Batra Group, and its plan to open a Delhi office in 2014 to coordinate research activity.

A neuroscience programme between the University of Edinburgh and the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in Bangalore will also be established.

In addition, the prime minister launched a programme between the Technology Strategy Board and India’s Global Innovation and Technology Alliance, which will work to commercialise research in healthcare and energy technologies. The two governments are also planning a series of UK-India knowledge transfer partnerships, to link businesses to academia.

In the arts and humanities, meanwhile, the British Library is to publish the 17th century Mewar Ramayana manuscripts online in association with a number of Indian research institutions to give researchers and the public full access. The London School of Economics and Tata Institute of Social Sciences are to double their investment in a joint research programme on gender equality, to £4m. The LSE is also offering 50 new scholarships to potential Indian masters’ students.

Cameron opened the third call for proposals under the UK India Education and Research Initiative, which was launched in 2010 and has supported 200 partnership programmes.

The new money takes UK-India funding in both education and research to over £100m. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says this represents an increase of £99m since 2008.