Hyderabad (South India): Developing alternative but sustainable energy resources to save scarce fossil resources and understanding the dynamics of changing water cycles to improve ecosystems in South Asia.

These are the broad areas agreement for green-field collaborative research entered into by India and the UK shaving an investment of 14.7 million British Pounds.

The latest initiatives, just announced recently in New Delhi, are expected to further boost the bilateral ties between the two nations.

The bioenergy project envisages inventing energy products from plants and algae alternative to fossil fuels, with a funding of 10 million BP. The research is expected to help both the countries.

The UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Indian Government’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) have agreed to jointly fund the research for sustainable bioenergy.

“ It will support collaborative science which aims to solve shared problems in the production and processing of plants and algae for bioenergy, research that could help both nations develop sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels,” according to UK Universities and Science Minister David Willetts who was here recently in India.

On the other hand, the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences (MOES) will jointly fund £4.7 million for research into the pattern of changing water cycles in South Asia.

In this connection, Prof. Paul Boyle, Chief Executive of the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and Rob Lynes, British Council’s Director in India, on behalf of UKIERI, signed a statement of intent to work together towards a new PhD partnering initiative between the UK and India.

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The five UK-India projects funded under this programme range from understanding the dynamics of groundwater systems, improved irrigation water management, rainfall patterns and how they affect ecosystems.

The Indian arm of the Research Council UK (RCUK) which is the umbrella organization of seven prestigious science research organization of Britain, since inception in the year 2008, had facilitated joint research collaboration between the UK, India and third parties to the tune of  over £80 million compared with £1 million in 2008.

RCUK India is now actively involved in significant co-funded activities with seven different Indian research funders, working together on a wide array of research themes helping to address global challenges such as energy and climate change to social sciences, healthcare and life sciences.

The UK Research Councils (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Each year the Research Councils invest around £3 billion in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines from the medical and biological sciences to astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering, social sciences, economics, environmental sciences and the arts and humanities.

The seven councils are: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).//EOM//

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