UK launches £3 million Innovation Challenge Fund in India

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The UK government has launched a £3 million Innovation Challenge Fund to support scientists in academia and industry to tackle – COVID-19 and the threat to the environment.

The Fund invites tech innovators with connections to the AI-Data cluster in Karnataka and the Future Mobility cluster in Maharashtra to submit research and development proposals for tackling COVID-19 or which promote a greener planet.

At least 12 grants up to £250,000 are expected to be awarded. The deadline for submitting two-page concept notes is 31 August, 2020. According to a statement, the applicants are required to submit bids as an academia-industry consortium, ideally with an international member.

In a statement, the British High Commission said the initiative built on the Indian and British Prime Ministers’ commitment to bring together the best minds from both countries under the UK-India Tech Partnership, to deliver high-skilled jobs and economic growth as well as to collaborate on some of the world’s biggest challenges.

“The UK and India have a strong history of research and innovation. Both COVID-19 and climate change demonstrate that the most urgent challenges are global. Never has there been a greater need for academia, business and government to accelerate innovation, and for nations to collaborate to save lives and build a better future,” said Sir Philip Barton,  High Commissioner to India. 

In April 2018, the Indian and British Prime Ministers announced the formal creation of the UK-India Tech Partnership. The programme aims to bring together the best minds working in tech to unlock its future potential and deliver high-skilled jobs and economic growth in both countries.

Commenting on the fund, Karen McLuskie, Head, UK-India Tech Partnership, British High Commission, said: “We are proud to work with India, as twin world leaders in the development and adoption of emerging tech for the benefit of all.”

Further information about the fund is available here.

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