The Newton-Picarte Fund was officially launched in Chile on Thursday 31st July through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government, represented by the British Ambassador Fiona Clouder, and the Chilean Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, represented by the Minister of Economy Luis Felipe Céspedes Cifuentes.
The Newton-Picarte Fund is a US$40 million fund aimed to promote scientific research and innovation over three years. The fund will support joint research projects between Chilean and British scientists, foster human capital and support commercialisation of technology, in order to contribute to the economic development and social welfare of Chile.
The celebration took place at the Chilean Ministry of Economy and was attended by approximately 45 people, including delivery partners, stakeholders, and representatives from universities, government agencies and the press.
After the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Ambassador Clouder gave the following speech:
I am delighted to announce the new Newton-Picarte 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-Picarte 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 fifteen countries globally for this type of collaboration with the UK, 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.
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