New Cambridge-India pact on biotech fellowships

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jun 01, 2015 16:04 IST

A new programme of early-career fellowships funded by India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the University of Cambridge has been finalised during a visit to London of the minister of state for Science & Technology, YS Chowdary.

An agreement to this effect was signed by Chowdary and the vice-chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz in Cambridge. The programme includes supporting research and innovation projects in collaboration with Indian partner institutions.

One of the main objectives is to establish a programme of 5-year fellowships for early-career researchers from the University of Cambridge. Academics participating in the scheme will be jointly appointed by the DBT and Cambridge.

They are expected to spend two years in Cambridge and three years at a partner institution in India carrying out translational research, with a focus on commercialisation and entrepreneurship, the university said.

The agreement also makes reference to a shared interest in the establishment of a centre for crop sciences, and to Cambridge plans for the establishment of a wholly-owned not-for-profit subsidiary in India to support wider collaborative research between Cambridge and Indian Institutions.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, the vice-chancellor said: “We are very eager to support the DBT’s plans for the development of India’s research ecosystems through closer links between universities and industry. This is another great example of Cambridge’s commitment to enhancing its engagement with India in ways that will strengthen the capacity for translational and applied research in both India and the United Kingdom.”

Accompanied by officials, Chowdary visited research centres in Cambridge during the visit.

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