Imperial College London has unveiled the India Connect Fund, a new seed fund aimed at fostering collaboration between scientists in India and the UK. By supporting joint projects in the fields of health and climate action, the fund seeks to drive innovative breakthroughs in scientific discovery.
The fund, which will be officially announced at events in New Delhi and Bengaluru next week, will provide grants ranging from GBP 3,500 to 5,000 to successful project teams. It focuses on initiatives that address global challenges in areas such as health, climate, and sustainability, leveraging the combined expertise of researchers from India and the UK.
Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost of Imperial College London, emphasised the importance of India as a research and innovation hub and a vital partner for UK scientists. With over 1,500 research papers co-authored in the last five years with colleagues from nearly 400 Indian universities and research institutes, Imperial aims to strengthen these ties through the India Connect Fund. The fund will facilitate closer collaboration between top scientists in India and their counterparts at Imperial, enabling cutting-edge research in health, climate, and sustainability.
Imperial College London, renowned as one of the UK's top universities for research impact and a member of the global top 10, anticipates that the fund will support exploratory research, small-scale experiments, prototype development, workshops, hackathons, and exchanges for researchers and students. Each project will be led jointly by a principal investigator from Imperial and a principal investigator from the partner institution in India.
Highlighting the institution's thriving Indian community, Professor Walmsley noted that Imperial is home to over 800 Indian students at its London campus, with more than 3,000 Indian alumni globally. The college values its close partnership with India, which includes collaborations with esteemed institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and various Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
Imperial College London's scientists are actively engaged in collaborative research with academic, industry, and government partners in India across a wide range of shared challenge areas. Their projects span from developing clean energy technologies and formulating policies to combat antimicrobial pollution, to training the next generation of infectious disease modelers. Recently, the college joined forces with the George Institute for Global Health India to establish a pioneering NIHR Centre, which addresses the intersection of non-communicable diseases and environmental change in India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.