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UK, India ink deal for scientific cooperation

The agreement reduces red-tape and aims to deliver progress on some of the biggest issues facing the world, including climate change and pandemic preparedness through, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

The United Kingdom and India signed an agreement to collaborate on research and innovation on April 26, 2023, following a meeting between the UK Science Minister, George Freeman, and Indian Minister for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh.

The agreement aims to facilitate faster, deeper scientific cooperation between the two nations to support economic growth, create skilled jobs, and enhance the quality of life in the UK, India, and around the world. It will also eliminate red tape that currently prevents significant collaborations, an official statement noted.

As part of the agreement, new collaborative research initiatives will be introduced to advance research on some of the most pressing global concerns, such as pandemic preparation and climate change, using AI and machine learning.

Commenting on India's scientific prowess, Freeman said, “India is rapidly building on its phenomenal software and innovation sectors to become a global powerhouse in science and technology.”

“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,” he added.

Several new initiatives will also be introduced as part of this research collaboration, including creating a new UK-India Net Zero Innovation Virtual Centre with a focus on industrial decarbonization and the beginning of the first UK-India scientific deep-sea voyage.

Aston University and CSIR Dehradun will establish a program of university collaborations between the UK and India, which will also include collaboration on sustainable biofuels. In addition to other efforts, a collaboration to decarbonize India's fine chemicals and pharmaceutical industries will be established.

According to the official statement, the funding for each initiative will be decided between the UK and India on a case-by-case basis. The funding for the collaborative activities carried out under the MoU would be supported by joint funding agreed upon by both parties.