India and the UK will collaborate on five new research projects to tackle anti-microbial resistance that can help in the global fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes.
The British High Commission in a statement said the five projects are planned for September and the UK is contributing 4 million pounds from the UK Research and Innovation Fund for International Collaboration. India will also contribute 4 million pounds.
The funding awards were announced by Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon ahead of a virtual visit to India on Tuesday.
"The UK has already partnered with India's Serum Institute to manufacture the vaccine for COVID-19, if clinical trials are successful, with plans to distribute to a billion people across the developing world. But there is more we can do together to tackle urgent global health issues in the world," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
"Our thriving research and innovation partnerships will benefit people in the UK and India, and beyond," he said.
During the visit to India, Ahmad will chair a virtual roundtable with senior Indian and UK-based stakeholders on cold-chain technologies that are critical for the effective transport of vaccines, ensuring they successfully reach their final destination, the statement said.
He will meet Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan to discuss a number of subjects including multilateral cooperation, and also hold a meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Ahmad will discuss opportunities in wind power with regional governments and will have a virtual tour of a UK-funded solar plant in Rajasthan, it said.
British High Commissioner Philip Barton said the UK is India's second biggest research partner, with joint research expected to be worth 400 million pounds by the next year.
"This huge investment enables us to work closely together on global health challenges such as the search for a COVID-19 vaccine. Today's announcement is another demonstration of our excellent research relationship and will strengthen the important fight against anti-microbial resistance," he said.