UK Announces First Programmes Supported Under New International Science Partnerships Fund

Eleven collaborative projects between UK and international partners have been selected for funding under the new programme designed to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the UK and the world.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced details of the first 11 projects to receive funding under the UK’s new International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF), a collaborative programme with an initial £119 million budget to support researchers tackling some of the most pressing issues facing the UK and the world.

The new fund was launched by UK Science Minister George Freeman in December 2022 during a visit to Tokyo, Japan, when it was announced that the fund would support multidisciplinary research projects in themes and countries that complement the UK’s recent integrated review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

The recently-created Department for Science, Innovation & Technology has now published further details of the fund, confirming that funding will be available across four themes, under which partner organisations will establish their own programmes and calls:

  • Resilient Planet – Leading the green industrial revolution to protect the planet.
  • Transformative Technologies – Developing responsible technologies to secure our place in tomorrow’s world.
  • Healthy People, Animals and Plants – Researching and Innovating for secure and healthy populations.
  • Tomorrow’s Talent – Nurturing talent to drive inclusion, research and innovation.

Projects supported under the first calls to launch under the ISPF include:

  • A Japan-UK research collaboration in neuroscience, neurodegenerative diseases and dementia.
  • An ambitious new clean energy and climate change programme being delivered by UKRI in conjunction with three international funders from Australia, Canada and the US.
  • A new partnership with South Korea to help UK businesses develop and grow in areas across digital health, clean energy, advanced manufacturing and materials, future mobility and smart cities.

UKRI’s International Champion Professor Christopher Smith said:

“Research and Innovation know no boundaries nor do the multiple challenges we face from pandemics to conflict, climate change to economic shocks. International collaboration is integral to ensuring the UK harnesses the extraordinary potential of research and innovation to enrich and improve the lives of people living in the UK and around the world.

“The roll out of this new fund will mean UKRI can work in partnership with government, our communities and international funders to enable diverse, secure and creative global collaborations to develop sustainable solutions for a fairer more prosperous world for all.”

Upcoming opportunities to be supported through the ISPF include the ‘China-UK One Health for Epidemic Preparedness and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)’ call and the ‘Taiwan-UK Joint Research, Development and Innovation Programme’.

Further details are available on the UKRI website.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)