The UK Research Councils are looking to enhance links with the US, China and India by increasing the number of grants available under the Science Bridges programme, which supports relationships between research organisations.
The aim is to raise the impact and profile of collaborative activity between the UK and these countries, and to facilitate innovation from existing research. These awards will be made to UK institutions with existing research links with the US, China and India, to accelerate the deployment of research knowledge, deepen and strengthen current research links, enable the acquisition of new skills, and encourage wealth creation through improving the transfer of research and expertise to businesses.
The first phase of Sciences Bridges was launched in 2006 to support existing collaborations between the UK and US, by taking research results towards commercialisation and undertaking proof of concept studies.
The Sainsbury Review of the UK government’s science and innovation policy concluded that the four US Science Bridges had, “Helped to develop entrepreneurial skills amongst researchers and supported the commercial development of technology and expertise in spin-outs.” The Review recommended the extension of Science Bridges to China and India.
The awards, which are expected to be in the region of GBP 0.5 M – GBP 1.5 M over three years, will be given for any area of research.
The Indian Department of Science and Technology is partnering Research Councils UK in supporting Science Bridge partnerships and will provide up to GBP 4M to match the support given to UK Institutions to the partner Indian Institutions of the successful applications.
For Science Bridges with China, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in China has agreed to work with RCUK in the selection process and in seeking to leverage resources for the Chinese partner institutions.