India-UK announce 45 million pound partnership to support affordable healthcare

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New Delhi, July 30 (ANI): India and the United Kingdom have announced a 45 million pound partnership to support the development of innovative healthcare products at affordable costs.

The partnership has been inked between Department of Bio-Technology, Government of India and Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom.

Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan, who met UK Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willets here last evening, also discussed two other new India-UK joint research projects, which aimed at bridging the rural/urban divide to provide technological solutions to improve the quality of life of rural inhabitants in both countries and multi disciplinary research partnerships to develop the next generation of environmentally friendly fuel cell technologies.

Elaborating on the Department of Bio-Technology- Wellcome Trust Initiative, Chavan said that this is the next phase of initiative announced two years ago wherein prestigious fellowships supporting the most promising researches were started in the Wellcome Trust-DBT alliance.

"Now the partnership, wherein DBT and the Wellcome Trust are contributing 22.5 million pounds each, would result in translation to projects for societal benefits. The aim is to bring together researchers from both public and private sector, largely working in India, to develop innovative devices, diagnostic medicines and vaccines that can reach the greatest number of beneficiaries at affordable cost," he added.

Chavan further said the focus would be on vaccines, technologies for rehabilitation and women and child care, adding that affordable health is top priority for the Government and use of high technology for low cost new devices would be encouraged on priority.

The Department of Bio-Technology and Research Council UK have also agreed to invest three million pounds each, towards Fuel Cell research.

The proposed initiative will address systems research programmes in fuel cell technologies including energy support through joint India-UK academic programmes.

On the occasion, T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology informed that Indo-UK joint workshop on fuel cell technology would be organized during September 15-17, 2010 at Centre for Fuel Cell Technology in Chennai.

"India and UK would be contributing six million pounds each towards this project. An Indo-UK workshop on bridging the urban and rural divide is being organized at Vardha from October 19 to 21," he added. (ANI)

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