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A perfect match – new UK-India research partnerships unveiled


The growing strength of joint UK-India research was highlighted today by the announcement of 12 new collaborations in the areas of Advanced Manufacturing and Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storage.

The new projects will be supported by £8.3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Manufacturing and RCUK Energy Programme themes, with matched resources from India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST). There will be seven projects in Advanced Manufacturing and five in Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storage.

Announcing the funding, during UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) India Business Day Conference at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, David Willetts, the UK Minister for Universities and Science said:

“Since 2008 the value of co-funded research between the UK and India has rocketed from £1 million to over £100 million. These projects will build on this already strong relationship, boosting collaboration between researchers and industry in advanced manufacturing and energy infrastructure. These are priority areas for both our countries.”

“We are on track to double our trade with India by 2015 and The India Business Day is a great showcase for UKTI’s commitment to supporting and encouraging a range of companies, both large and small, to do business there in the future.”

“As we move towards greater use of low carbon energy generation, there will be significant differences in supply and demand patterns and management. Smart energy grids and energy storage are areas of significant potential for providing ways of managing future energy needs.”

UKTI has organised The India Business Day to demonstrate to Indian technology companies that the UK has world class R&D and innovation capabilities across all key technology sectors. A number of UK universities and technology companies are also taking part in the event. Speaking from New Delhi, Dr T Ramasami, Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology added:

“DST welcomes these additions to the growing portfolio of high quality research collaborations between the UK and India. These projects include some of the best researchers from the UK and India working alongside industry partners. We look forward to continuing collaboration with the UK in key strategic priorities such as these.”

The new research grants involve over 30 industry partners from the UK and India, contributing over £1 million to the research projects. Partners include: Rolls-Royce, Bharat Heavy Electricals, E.ON, National Grid and Mott Macdonald.

The work of RCUK is supported in India by RCUK India, which is based at the British High Commission, New Delhi. It plays a key role in the facilitation of UK-India research opportunities.

The UK-India Advanced Manufacturing projects are:

• Improvements in Gas Turbine Performance via Novel Plasma Spray coatings offering Protection against ingested species – led by Prof T Clyne, University of Cambridge and Dr S Joshi, ARCI
• Engineering Driven Sustainability Supply Networks – led by Prof Sir Mike Gregory, University of Cambridge and Prof Harpreet Singh, IIT Ropar and Prof Samir Srivastava, IIM Lucknow
• Modelling of Advanced Materials for Simulation of Transformative Manufacturing Processes (MAST) – led by Prof V Siberschmidt, Loughborough University and Dr Pulak Mohan Pandey and Dr Sunil Jha, IIT Delhi
• Development of On-Line, High Temperature, Non-Destructive Measurement/Sensing Techniques During Manufacturing of Power Plant Components – led by Prof Simon Dixon, University of Warwick and Prof Krishnan Balasubramanian, Dr Prabhu Rajagopal and Prof C.V. Krishnamurthy, IIT Madras
• High Deposition Rate Additive Manufacture of Complex Metal Parts (HiDepAM) – led by Prof S Williams, Cranfield University and Dr. K.P. Karunakaran, IIT Bombay
• Creation of a Process Understanding of Chromatographic Performance Loss During Biotherapeutic Manufacture – led by Dr Daniel Bracewell, UCL and Prof Anurag S. Rathore, IIT Delhi
• High-Performance Spinning Disc Atomisation Process – led by Prof Y Shikhmurzaev, University of Birmingham and Dr Pankaj Doshi, NCL.

The UK-India Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storage projects are:

• Reconfigurable Distribution Networks – led by Prof Tim Green and Dr Prabodh Bajpai, Prof Avinash Sinha and Prof Debaprasad Kastha, IIT Kharagpur
• Advanced Communication and Control for the Prevention of Blackouts (ACCEPT) – led by Prof Vladimir Terzija, University of Manchester and Dr Nilanjan Senroy, IIT Delhi
• Reliable and Efficient Systems for Community Energy Solution (RESCUES) – led by Dr B Pal, Imperial College and Dr Chandan Chakraborty, IIT Kharagpur
• High Energy and Power Density (HEAPD) Solutions to Large Energy Deficits – led by Prof F Li, University of Bath and Prof NP Padhy, IIT Rourkee
• Intelligent Microgrids with Appropriate Storage for Energy (IMASE) – led by Prof Gavin Walker, Nottingham and Dr Prakash C Ghosh, IIT Bombay

Notes to Editors:

• The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.
• India’s Department of Science and Technology plays a pivotal role in promotion of science & technology in the country. The department has wide ranging activities including the promotion of high end basic research and development of cutting edge technologies.
• The Research Councils UK Energy Programme led by EPSRC aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. The Energy programme is investing more than £625 million in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £839 million over the past eight years. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grants funding as part of the Research Councils’ UK Energy Programme.
• The Energy Programme brings together the work of EPSRC and that of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
• Research Councils UK are represented in India by RCUK India, based at the British High Commission. This initiative was co-hosted by RCUK India. RCUK India was established in 2008 with an aim to facilitate research partnerships and enable the best researchers in the UK and India to develop high-quality, high impact collaborations.
• Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education Funding Councils, business, government, and charitable organisations.
• The seven UK Research Councils are:
* Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
* Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
* Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
* Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
* Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
• The Government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ’strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.’ It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB)
, published at Budget 2011:
* To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
* To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
* To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
* To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
• Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.
• UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.


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