LONDON:A new multi-million pound India-UK collaboration will fund three new global centres to focus on research into antibiotics and tackling major world health problems.
The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and India's Department for Biotechnology (DBT) have joined forces to fund three such centres.
The two centres are the Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistant Tuberculosis in Chennai and UK-India Centre for Advanced Technology for minimising the indiscriminate use of Antibiotics in Hyderabad.
The third centre is MRC-DBT Joint Centre for Cancer Biology & Therapeutics in Bangalore.
Using high quality research teams based in the UK and India, two of the centres will focus on research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the third on cancer biology. Nearly 3.5 million pounds will be invested by the UK through the MRC and the Newton Fund, with matched funding provided by DBT.
"These exciting partnerships between excellent scientists in India and the UK is a key part of our international effort to pool expertise and resources and deliver research that will make a real difference to global health," said Dr Mark Palmer, MRC director of international strategy.
The centres will take a global perspective in tackling some of the largest global health problems and foster the next generation of researchers with specialist skills.
The Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistant Tuberculosis will involve a team of international researchers, from across a number of disciplines, to develop new diagnostic tools and new treatments to address the sharp rise in cases of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
The UK-India Centre for Advanced Technology for Minimising the indiscriminate use of Antibiotics (UKICAT-MA) will focus on finding solutions to excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics.
In partnership with the University of Sheffield, University of Bradford and L V Prasad Eye Institute, the new centre will establish smart materials for the detection and targeted delivery of antibiotics for eye infections and promote use of new technologies in other infective diseases. The third global centre named MRC-DBT Joint Centre for Cancer Biology & Therapeutics will link the MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge with the National Centre for Biological Sciences to foster research on cancer biology and therapy in India.
Prof K Vijay Raghavan, secretary in the Department of Biotechnology, said: "India is committed to working with the best in the world, for India and for the world. We are acutely aware that the fruits of our partnership can mean better lives for the most needy everywhere and are committed to make the collaboration succeed."
The Newton Fund is a new initiative which will enable the UK to use its research and innovation to promote the economic development and social welfare of 15 partner countries.