UK and India to build 'science bridges'

18 Nov 2009 10:28:00.000

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.

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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.


— Ends —


Notes to editors

: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.


Story credits

More information is available from Professor Christine Ennew , The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 823 2482,; or Professor Kevin Shakesheff , The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 5104,

Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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