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New science and innovation collaboration fund launched in Chile

The Newton Fund will promote a step change in the bilateral relationship between the United Kingdom and Chile.

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Innovation is GREAT Britain.
Innovation is GREAT Britain.

The Newton Fund is a new fund to build science and innovation capacity in developing countries. By working together, the UK and Chile will build a strong sustainable partnership which will also support a step change in the bilateral relationship between our two countries.

The first competitions under this new fund were launched on 10 April, together with CONICYT, the Chilean science and technology council and the Research Councils UK (RCUK). The two first competitions will be for academic mobility and joint research respectively. Both these calls build on successful CONICYT schemes, namely the international networking grants and the international research grants.

The academic mobility grant is for short term visits: for training internships for Chileans in the UK, academic workshops in Chile, academic visits in both directions and for access to equipment in the UK. Its aim is to support scientific networking between British and Chilean researchers, and so to contribute to the development of Chilean human resources in specific areas relevant to national development. The maximum grant is around £18,000 ($CLP 16.500.000). The application must be made to CONICYT by Chilean researchers/research groups, but must include the participation of British researchers. The deadline for applications is 29 May 2014 at 16:00hrs (Chilean continental time).

The joint research grant is for the development of joint research projects between British and Chilean researchers. Its aim is to strengthen collaboration between teams of researchers in Chile and the UK with the aim of achieving global-standard scientific research, and contributing to the development of Chilean human resources in specific areas relevant to national development. The maximum grant is around £55,000 ($CLP 50.000.000) per year for three years. The funding may be used for salaries for project participants, travel and living expenses for internships in the UK for Chilean researchers, travel and living expenses for visits to Chile for British researchers, equipment, consultancy, seminars etc. The application must be made to CONICYT by Chilean researchers/research groups, but must include the participation of British researchers with a grant from the British Research Councils. The deadline for applications is 27 May 2014 at 16:00hrs (Chilean continental time).

On occasion of the launch of these calls, the British Ambassador to Chile, Fiona Clouder, said:

I am delighted to announce the new Newton Fund to promote co-operation in Science and Innovation between the UK and Chile. I believe that this will lead to a step change in collaboration between our two countries in a key area of interest for both our governments. Science and Innovation is a key priority here during my time here as the British Ambassador. I also have a keen personal interest in this area, having worked for 15 years in the British equivalent of CONICYT before joining the Foreign Office.

The Newton Fund offers £4m a year for science and innovation cooperation with Chile for three years, with matched local funding. We hope it will become a unique platform to support the economic development of Chile. We expect the programme to contribute significantly towards science and innovation capacity building in Chile.

Chile has been chosen as one of the fifteen countries eligible, from various emerging economies, because of its interest in developing science and innovation capacity; the good quality of science base, its solid institutions and the potential for greater knowledge-led economic growth.

The Fund has three pillars: research, innovation and capacity building. In these areas it aims to: support Chilean research capacity through scientific collaborations between Chile and the UK in areas of joint interest and of global excellence; support adding value in the Chilean economy through industrial research development and commercialisation of technology, in collaboration with UK partners; and support the development of relevant human capacity in Chile for research and innovation.

The Fund will engage with a range of partners in Chile. We are very pleased that CONICYT will be one of our key partners. Further calls will be announced in the future.

Further information

For more information about this call, contact Christian Peña-Ratinen, Innovation Officer, British Embassy, Santiago.

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Published 11 April 2014