Philippines to get UK research fund

The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 24 2014 03:56 AM | Updated as of Jun 24 2014 11:56 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Britain has put up a 375-million-euro (P27.5 billion) fund for a five-year project that aims to increase the research and innovation capacity of 15 developing countries, including the Philippines, to boost economic growth.

In a statement yesterday, the British embassy in Manila said its government recently launched the Newton Fund to support global collaboration on science and innovation that will focus on economic development.

The fund will be divided across 15 countries: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

Under the five-year project, the UK government will provide two million euros (P146.7 million) every year to the Philippines through the British embassy.

“The Philippines is one of the countries that the UK wants to establish partnerships with,” the embassy said.

It added that it is currently seeking partners in the Philippines to expand this collaboration.

The UK government aims to start the implementation of the project in the second half of this year.

“The fund is looking forward to foster science and innovation partnerships for joint research on development topics, researcher training and fellowships, and innovation capacity building programs. These joint projects would tackle priority development concerns such as environmental resilience, food and energy security, and health,” it said.

British Ambassador Asif Ahmad said science and technology are key drivers to economic development.

He said the Newton Fund will engage British and Filipino scientists as partners to increase their research and innovation capacity.

The UK’s research base is one of the best in the world and is at the cutting edge of science innovation and discovery.

“The application of knowledge, tailored to the needs of the people of the Philippines, will address their current priorities and address long-term sustainable growth,” Ahmad said.

“The British invention of the Internet transformed lives and it is not beyond reason to hope that Pinoy-UK ingenuity could unlock further discovery,” the envoy said.

The Newton Fund supports joint research projects on development topics, capacity building projects, student and researcher fellowships, and partnerships to develop innovative solutions on development topics.