UK and India to build ’science bridges’

UK and India to build ’science bridges’

PA 296/09

New entrepreneurial opportunities in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have opened up between India and the UK with the signing of a £1.5m UK-India Science Bridge, Biopharm 2020.

The three year grant has been funded by The Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) India and was officially launched at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi.

Experts from The University of Nottingham, the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur aim to create a step-change in collaborative innovation in target identification, drug discovery, drug delivery and manufacturing. They will build on existing collaborations with the goal of producing clinical and commercial benefits from patent protected research.

Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery at The University of Nottingham, said: “World changing advances in pharmaceuticals and regenerative medicine will require large collaborative teams to work towards common goals. BioPharm 2020 brings together leading research groups with industry. The teams at Nottingham, Kanpur and Bangalore have very different skills and by combining our ideas we can undertake new challenges that will advance us far beyond that achievable within the smaller individual groups.”

Professor Pradip Bhatnagar, Senior Vice President, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals chaired the launch event. Presentations covered a range of topics including cancer research, infectious diseases, pharmacy education, stem cells and regenerative medicine, drug discovery, as well as the importance of international collaboration.

Director IITKanpur, Professor Sanjay Govind Dhande, said: "I am very pleased to note the progress with UK-India Science Bridge initiative. I would like to congratulate the participating researchers on the occasion of the official launch of the Science Bridge. It is also a major landmark in our effort to bring about Industry-Academia linkages.

“Our collaboration with The University of Nottingham and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore would provide the right impetus for us to achieve leadership in translational Biomedical research. I also express my gratitude to the funding agencies, DST and RCUK, for supporting this venture. I wish a grand success for the UK-India Science Bridge.”

The UK Pharmaceutical Industry generates annual exports of over £14bn. A strong foundation for this industry is the investment in research and development (over 26 per cent of gross output was re-invested in 2006) and innovation and knowledge transfer between Universities and Industry.

The three partners will build on extensive collaborations with the goals of producing: clinical and commercial benefits from patent protected research; a world class human resource with a focus on interfacing with Industry; and an assessment of the supply chain and outsourcing potential for long-term business engagement and policy formulation between the two countries.

BioPharm 2020 will deliver patent disclosures for inventions made possible by the synergistic research expertise across the Science Bridge, a substantial cohort of students and early stage career academics with hands-on experience of innovation and long-term bonds between UK and Indian companies that exploit the unique capabilities of each country.

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