India and the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Wednesday for collaboration in cancer research, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement.

The pact between the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for the India-UK Cancer Research Initiative was signed here for collaboration for the next five years.

Both CRUK and DBT will invest £5million each in this five-year pilot project, and seek further investment from other potential funding partners.

The India-UK Cancer Research Initiative will identify a core set of research challenges that address issues of affordability, prevention and care of cancer patients by bringing together leading Indian and UK experts in clinical research, demographic research, new technologies and physical sciences, the statement said.

“The initiative will provide funding to develop new research alliances and undertake impactful research to enable significant progress against cancer outcomes,” the statement added.

This is a follow-up to the joint statement issued by the premiers of India and UK during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UK in April.

Modi had then stated, “As thriving democracies, we share a desire to work closely together and with all who share our objective to support a rules-based international order that upholds agreed international norms, global peace and stability.

“Together the UK and India are a force for good in an uncertain world. We are sharing our experience and knowledge to tackle global challenges. India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Cancer Research UK propose to launch a £10 million bilateral research initiative which will focus on low cost approaches to cancer treatment.”

Speaking at the launch of this initiative, Secretary of DBT, Renu Swarup, said, “Cancer is a global epidemic that requires radically new approaches through inter-disciplinary and multi-national efforts. The India-UK Cancer Research Initiative will provide a catalysing platform for scientists and researchers in the UK and India to co-create solutions for affordable cancer care that improve cancer outcomes around the globe.”

On the occasion, Nick Grant, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of international partnerships, spoke in the importance of the research partnership saying no country escapes the impact of cancer.

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