Innovate UK is one of the main partners in delivering the Newton Fund.
The Fund is part of the UK's official development assistance. Led by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
, its aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. The fund will grant £75m each year from 2014 for five years, with extra funding from corporate partners, private foundations, multi-lateral organisations, and partner countries.
The fund will focus on:
people: improving science and innovation expertise (known as ‘capacity building'), student and researcher fellowships, mobility schemes and joint centres
research: research collaborations on development topics
translation: innovation partnerships and challenge funds to develop innovative solutions on development topics.
As one of the main partners in delivering the Fund, Innovate U will be working with the research councils to create a ‘Research and Innovation Bridges' programme in Brazil, China and India.
The Research and Innovation Bridges programme
The world faces many challenges, from extreme weather conditions, to food or energy security, to meeting the social and economic needs of a growing and ageing population. Addressing these requires an integrated research and innovation approach, bringing together people from different disciplines, sectors and nations.
The Research and Innovation Bridges programme will build partnerships between business and academia in the Newton Fund countries and the UK, to help address such major challenges. The programme will:
accelerate the deployment of research knowledge to address the societal and economic challenges in the countries concerned
deepen and strengthen current research and innovation links
enable the acquisition of new researcher skills
encourage economic development by improving the exchange of research and innovation expertise between the research base and businesses, practitioners, policy makers and other users.
The programme will focus on challenge areas depending on the interests and priorities of organisations on both sides. Areas could include:
sustainable cities and urbanisation
public health and wellbeing including affordable healthcare
energy, water and food
sustainable and low-carbon manufacturing.
The programme will include funding to help develop innovation capacity by building links between institutions in the partner country; seminars and workshops to build collaborations; joint academic centres building links to business; small-scale collaborative projects to test out ideas; and larger-scale research and innovation projects aiming to tackle major societal challenges.
Project partners include academics, research and technology organisations, and businesses. Projects can be business-led or researcher-led.
All activity will be managed on a competitive basis. UK and partner country organisations will be invited to submit joint proposals. These will be reviewed under a jointly agreed system, with a jointly constituted and chaired panel and reviewers nominated by the UK and the partner country.
Details of the opportunities under this programme will be announced in due course.