Business News 2009 Business
UK must push back frontiers of research: Lord Mandelson
UK must push back frontiers of research: Lord
18 December 2009
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said today that
India and the UK must work together to push back
the frontiers of research with scientists collaborating
in areas such as food and energy security. The Business
Secretary will visit one of Indias most prestigious
universities, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
in Bangalore, which celebrates its centenary this
year. He will also be launching a lecture series
that will opened by the Vice Chancellor of the University
of Cambridge Professor Alison Richards next year,
and will include lectures from professors from Oxford,
Leicester and Edinburgh universities among others.
Lord Mandelson, who began
a visit to India today, said: "In a world
faced by many global challenges, from energy supply
to combating infectious diseases and global warming,
we all rely on global research collaboration.
The strong tradition of excellence in the UK and
India make us natural partners for the joint activities
that will secure a brighter future for everyone.
The IISc-UK lecture
series is a key example of the activities we need
to bring our best minds together to tackle these
challenges and to push back the frontiers of research,"
the Business Secretary said.
The UK and India already
have good cooperation in research with over 50,000
Indian students studying every year in the UK,
and many UK students and researchers studying
in India. Joint areas of research include solar
energy, bioenergy, healthcare, early warning systems
for natural disasters, sustainable agriculture
and cybersecurity. Almost half a billion people
in India are under the age of 15, and education
has been identified by UK Trade & Investment
(UKTI) as one of the key opportunities for UK
firms in a market which registered GDP growth
of almost 8% last quarter.
The UKs bilateral trade
with India is worth £12.6bn. The UK is the
biggest European investor in India and India last
year overtook Japan to become the biggest Asian
investor in the UK. Over 600 Indian firms are
represented in the UK, of which about two thirds
are in information technology or software. Last
year alone, almost 4,000 new jobs were created
in the UK by Indian investment.
UK-India research factfile
Although the UK has only
one per cent of the worlds population, it
produces eight per cent of the worlds scientific
publications, which in turn receive over eleven
per cent of the worlds citations.
The Indian Government plans
to triple public spending on science and technology
between 2007-2012 to reach two per cent of GDP.
In 2009-10 alone, Indian government expenditure
on research and development (R&D) will exceed
of Leeds, the IISc and the Indian agricultural
research institute, in collaboration with
the International Crops Research Institute for
the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) are looking at
new crops and how to fight plant parasites.
2020: The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore,
Nottingham University and Indian Institute of
Technology Kanpur are working together on target
identification, drug discovery, drug delivery
and manufacturing. Bioenergy: Aston University
and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
are looking at bioenergy technology and business
solutions for both countries. They will grow biomass
using wasteland and wastewater in order to provide
energy for heating in the UK and energy for cold
storage and food processing in India.
ventures: The Indian arm of Imperial Innovations
(Imperial College), is working in partnership
with research and innovation centres to create
an eco-system for early stage technology commercialisation.
Using the proven business models of Imperial Innovations,
they are trying to help fill the gaps often encountered
by Indian inventors and entrepreneurs in early
pursuits. i2india have committed to fund Indian
projects over the coming years. So far, they have
raised about $10 million to be used for funding,
and have identified 6 scientists from to commercialise
their ideas in healthcare, clean tech and product
lecture series: To commemorate 100 years
of the IISc, the Research Councils UK Office in
India, UK Science and Innovation Network and the
Indian Institute of Science are presenting a high
profile lecture series which will be delivered
in India throughout 2010. The series will showcase
the cutting edge research undertaken by UK academics
and link it to the various challenges facing the
world today, from water security to the importance
of university-led innovation to global economic
About UK Trade & Investment
UK Trade & Investment
(UKTI) is the government organisation that helps
UK-based companies succeed in the global economy.
We also help overseas companies bring their high
quality investment to the UKs economy
acknowledged as Europes best place from
which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers
expertise and contacts through its extensive network
of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies
and other diplomatic offices around the world.
We provide companies with the tools they require
to be competitive on the world stage. For more
information please visit www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk