News article

Building lasting links for Colombia’s development

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Colombia has attracted a lot of attention from British Government, science and innovation has been a key pillar of co-operation

Colombia has attracted a lot of attention from British Government over the past two years demonstrated with the recent visits of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, widening the relationships between both countries. Science and Innovation has been a key pillar of co-operation with Colombia during this time, with both countries working on projects to assist Colombia’s economic development.

For its part, the Colombian government has identified science, technology and innovation as an important driver for the country to achieve developed country status and entry into the OECD. The British Government is using its capacity to support Colombia’s application, including through activities related to science and innovation such as facilitating academic bilateral agreements, building lasting links between our countries and providing Overseas Development Assistance.

With a contribution of £12m over three years, to be match funded by Colombian organisations, the Newton-Caldas Fund is well positioned to support Colombia’s focus of using research and innovation for national development and long term sustainable growth. It is also available to help Colombia develop models on public science and innovation policy tailored to the local context. The UK can offer world class strengths in all of the areas of the Newton-Caldas Fund (Future Cities, Sustainable Development, Health, Climate Change, Agriculture, Innovation , Entrepreneurship) and is also the global leader in achieving the most cited scientific research per dollar invested.

The British Council, acting as one of the Fund’s Delivery Partners, has joined forces with ICETEX to organise and deliver Researcher Links workshops in Santa Marta and Cali bringing together more than 80 researchers from both countries around 3 subjects: Marine Sciences, Climate Change and UK-Colombia Research & Innovation Cooperation.

Professor James Mair, who coordinates the workshop on Marine Science and Technology from Heriot-Watt University remarks: “The workshop being held in Santa Marta, Colombia on 18-21 November is an ideal opportunity for Early Career Researchers from both countries to meet, network, and develop long-standing collaborative relationships. There has been great interest in this workshop shown by the number of applications received and there will be a full house of 34 early career researchers taking part plus 6 mentors leading the Workshop. The participants come from a range of 29 different Universities and research institutions in the two countries and this workshop should provide a step change in UK-Colombian scientific research collaboration which is extremely timely given the newly launched significant funding developments of the two governments through the Newton-Caldas Programme.”

We encourage you to keep tracking progress on Newton Caldas fund through our social media: @UKinColombia using the hashtag #NewtonFund and on our Facebook fanpage as UK in Colombia