India, UK initiate joint medical research projects worth £8 million


UK High Commissioner to India, Sir Philip Barton, said: “The UK is India’s second-biggest research partner, with joint research expected to be worth £400 million by next year. This huge investment enables us to work closely together on global health challenges such as the search for a Covid-19 vaccine." (Photo: iStock)
UK High Commissioner to India, Sir Philip Barton, said: “The UK is India’s second-biggest research partner, with joint research expected to be worth £400 million by next year. This huge investment enables us to work closely together on global health challenges such as the search for a Covid-19 vaccine." (Photo: iStock)

INDIA and the UK have agreed five new projects worth £8 million to tackle anti-microbial resistance.



The UK will contribute £4mn from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration, which India will match with its own resources.

The tie-up was announced on Tuesday (28) as the UK minister of state for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad, conducted a “virtual visit” of India.

“The UK has already partnered with India’s Serum Institute to manufacture the vaccine for Covid-19 — if clinical trials are successful — with plans to distribute to a billion people across the developing world,” said Lord Ahmad.



“But there is more we can do together to tackle urgent global health issues in the world. Our thriving research and innovation partnerships will benefit people in the UK and India, and beyond,” he said.

India is a major producer of anti-microbials in the pharmaceutical industry global supply chain, and the research projects aim to develop a better understanding of how waste from antimicrobial manufacturing could be inadvertently fuelling anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

The five projects backed by the new funding are planned for September, subject to clearances.



UK High Commissioner to India, Sir Philip Barton, said: “The UK is India’s second-biggest research partner, with joint research expected to be worth £400 million by next year. This huge investment enables us to work closely together on global health challenges such as the search for a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Today’s announcement is another demonstration of our excellent research relationship and will strengthen the important fight against anti-microbial resistance.”

During the virtual India tour, Lord Ahmad chaired a roundtable with senior Indian and UK officials on how vaccines are transported, ensuring their efficacy is preserved till they reach their final destination.

It also included a meeting with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani; discussions with regional governments and others on opportunities in wind power; and a virtual tour of a UK-funded solar plant in Rajasthan.