UK launches 3 mn pound innovation challenge fund in India

New Delhi (NVI): With an aim to support scientists in academia and industry to tackle Covid-19 and threat to environment, the two most acute challenges before the world at present, the UK Government has launched a £3 million ‘Innovation Challenge Fund’ in India.

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, the British High Commission said in a statement today.

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

“The initiative builds 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,” read the official statement.

On the launch of the fund, High Commissioner to India, Sir Philip Barton, said: “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.”

Head, UK-India Tech Partnership, British High Commission, Karen McLuskie, said: “This fund aims to get behind the innovation heroes, whether they are working to battle the virus or the even greater looming global threat: climate change. We are proud to work with India, as twin world leaders in the development and adoption of emerging tech for the benefit of all.’