Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has launched a £375 million fund to promote economic development though science and innovation at the University of Sao Paulo on the final day of his visit to Brazil.
The newly named Newton Fund, will improve the science and research capabilities of emerging powers and strengthen ties with Britain.
The £375 million fund will allow the UK to use its strengths in scientific research to promote economic development and welfare in emerging economies while building long-term collaborations with countries that will produce leading innovations in the future.
The fund will lay the foundation for ongoing collaboration between the partner countries and the UK, promoting the UK as an international partner of choice and seeking opportunities for commercial collaboration as we work towards sustainable global growth.
The Chancellor made the announcement at a ceremony at the University of Sao Paulo to sign the first match funding agreement with a Brazilian partner. The Association of State Funding Agencies has committed £3 million pounds a year for 3 years matched by the Newton Fund.
The £18 million agreement will support bilateral collaboration in areas such as food security, Future Cities, bio-economy and neglected diseases.
Speaking in Sao Paulo, Brazil the Chancellor said:
Investing in science is at the heart of the government’s long term economic plan and sustainable growth is key to tackling global challenges.
These are not challenges we face alone. Partnerships with countries such as Brazil who are rapidly increasing their investments in scientific research will help strengthen ties between our countries and deliver new economic opportunities for us both.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said:
Science and innovation are central to economic development and growth in all countries. They underpin solutions to many of the development issues facing the world today – from poverty reduction to improved health and sustainable growth.
There are clear benefits of international collaboration on science research and this new programme will enable the UK to engage visibly with countries of strategic importance, across science, education and innovation areas.
The fund is named after the pre-eminent UK scientist Isaac Newton. Each individual programme in a partner country will also be named after a renowned scientist or statesman/woman from that country.
The Newton Fund will support research collaborations, researcher and student mobility & partnering schemes, building links between science institutions, developing innovation partnerships and support for innovation capacity building.