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Mega investments to be announce by Clegg during India tour
London: Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce a series of mega investments during his three-day trade mission to India starting on Monday.
A number of new tie-ups between British and Indian scientists, from health research to predicting the weather, are also due to be signed next week.
“The major trade mission I am leading to India next week marks a turning point in the relationship between our countries. Our links with India are one of the strongest we have with any country and the openness to trade and investment promised by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi drives us closer still to the new ‘special relationship’ we have been aiming for since 2010,” Clegg said ahead of his first ever visit to India.
He will visit Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore during the trip.
“Science, research and development present clear opportunities to work together to tackle global challenges and boost jobs and growth. Between us, we have some of the best universities in the world, combined with unrivalled entrepreneurial spirit from innovative companies of all sizes,” he said.
“The scale of the problems we are tackling together is huge, and we could see thousands of lives saved. The impact on the world in the fields of climate research, drug resistance and elsewhere could be absolutely historic.”
Besides meetings with Modi and senior Cabinet minister Arun Jaitley, the leader of the UK coalition partner Liberal Democrats will announce four projects that have won a share of over 2 million pound funding from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and the Indian Department of Science and Technology to create new commercial technology in the health and energy sectors.
The UK’s innovation agency, formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board, is investing 1 million pound to support the UK’s involvement in these four projects, with matched resources from UK and Indian businesses and from the government of India.
Separately, a new partnership between the University of Dundee and the Indian National Centre for Biological Research at the Bangalore Bio-Cluster will seek to address the global problem of an increased resistance to antibiotics.
The partnership will work towards developing new drugs to treat diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, where the global population is starting to become resistant to the most common antibiotic treatments.
The partnerships will also see information and people exchanges, and establish a drug discovery unit at the Bangalore Bio-Cluster with advice and assistance from Dundee.
The four projects which successfully bid for funding from the UK-India Joint Industrial Research and Development Programme include GBIT in India and Oxitec Ltd in the UK for research on sustainable prevention of dengue fever, a mosquito-born disease which threatens 40 per cent of the world’s population.
Lifecare Innovations in India and Wockhardt Ltd/University of Central Lancashire in the UK will work on improving the treatment for the life-threatening tropical disease Leishmaniasis, Chogen Powers Ltd in India and GeoCapita Ltd and University of Glasgow in the UK will
research into improving the process for generating power from biofuels, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Gyan Data in India and Process Systems Enterprise Ltd in the UK will work on improving efficiency and yields in oil refineries.
Other universities making new announcements during the visit will include Aberdeen University, which will invest 500,000 pounds in PhD studentships for Indians, particularly in the fields of life sciences, health and energy research.
The University of Edinburgh will partner with the Christian Medical College in Vellore and the Indian Christian Medical and Dental Association to deliver a new distance learning Master’s degree in Family Medicine to help GPs working in Asia and Africa better to serve poor and rural communities.