UK supports low and middle-income countries to develop science, technology
VGP - UK Science Minister George Freeman announced the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) ODA funding program at a meeting with ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn in London last week.
The ISPF is one of the largest science and technology collaboration programs between the UK and international partners.
The ISPF will invest £337 million over the next two years in collaborations to tackle the existential challenges facing the world–from climate change, pandemics, to harnessing power and emerging technologies.
The UK Government has committed to spending £218 million on partnerships with low and middle-income countries to support sustainable development.
The fund is managed by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and delivered by a consortium of the UK's leading research and innovation bodies. Delivery partners of the fund's ODA element include: UK Research and Innovation, UK Academies, the British Council, and the Met Office.
The Fund has four themes, including resilient planet-leading the green industrial revolution to protect the planet; healthy people, animals and plants-researching and innovating for secure and healthy populations; transformative technologies-developing responsible technologies to secure our place in tomorrow's world; and tomorrow's talent-nurturing talent to drive inclusion, research and innovation.
These themes are where the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and its international partners feel they can achieve the most tangible societal impact through interdisciplinary research and innovation.
At the meeting, Minister Freeman also announced several cooperation programs with ASEAN countries under the ISPF in the coming time.
Particularly, UK's Medical Research Council is working with Southeast Asian partners to develop a new program worth £21 million to alleviate the burden of infectious diseases, with global implications for pandemic preparedness and tackling antimicrobial resistance.
The British Council is also launching a program worth £9 million to fund research collaboration on: Planet, Health, Tech, and Talent. In addition, opportunities for early career researchers include a British Council fellowships program worth £2.5 million, funding UK institutions to host researchers from Southeast Asia.
The British Ambassador to Viet Nam, Iain Frew, shared the UK has been building strong science partnerships with Viet Nam thanks to the support of the Newton Fund and the Global Challenges Research Fund.
With ISPF, the UK aims to connect outstanding research groups and universities in the UK and Viet Nam to conduct projects that can only be fully realized by working internationally, he said.
"From antimicrobial resistance issues, sustainable aquaculture to energy transition, we will carry out research responsibly, not only to find practical solutions but also to help developing local and global best practice in research," the ambassador added./.