British premier hails India-Britain research collaboration

October 21st, 2008 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Oct 21 (IANS) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed a new India-Britain research collaboration launched Tuesday with its first task to focus on solar energy. “I believe that research has an important role to play in the global knowledge society of the future. It is only through collaboration on high-quality research that we will be able to address the global and societal challenges that we face,” Brown said in a message on the launch of an India office of Research Councils UK (RCUK).

The British leader said India, “with its rich tradition of research excellence and ambitious plans for the future,” was “an immediate choice for the first group of such overseas offices.”

The RCUK office in India will work with Indian funding bodies to share strategies, increase dialogue on funding priorities and pursue and promote collaborative research opportunities.

A sum of five million pounds is to be committed next year for new research on energy, focusing on priority areas such as solar energy.

“In this time of economic gloom and doom, it is important that we keep sight of the big picture and work together with global partners to achieve solutions,” said John Beddington, chief scientific advisor to the British government.

Beddington is leading a delegation of more than 80 distinguished British scientists, researchers and academics to India.

The RCUK aims to promote collaboration between British and global researchers in arts and humanities; biotechnology and biological sciences; economics and social sciences; engineering and physical sciences; medical sciences; environment; and science and technology facilities.

The government-funded body has an annual budget of around 3.4 billion pounds.

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