MANILA, Philippines – The British government has recently launched the Newton Fund, with the goal of supporting global collaboration in the areas of science and innovation that will focus on economic development.
The fund, 375-million-euro (P27.5 billion) in total, is meant to increase the research and innovation capacity of 15 developing countries over a period of five years. The Philippines is among the project’s beneficiaries.
“The Philippines is one of the countries that the UK wants to establish partnerships with,” the British Embassy said, adding that it is currently seeking partners in the Philippines to expand this collaboration.
“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,” the embassy added.
The fund will be divided among 15 countries – Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam – with each country receiving two million Euros (P146.7 million) every year through the British Embassies in their respective nations.
Joint research projects on development topics, capacity building projects, student and researcher fellowships, and partnerships to develop innovative solutions on development topics are the areas to be supported by the Newton Fund.
It is set for implementation by the UK government in the second half of this year.
British Ambassador Asif Ahmad noted that science and technology are key catalysts to economic development. He also pointed out that the Newton Fund will partner British and Filipino scientists to increase their research and innovation capacity.
The UK is one of the world’s best research bases, being at the helm 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,” he encouraged.