A new agreement between the UK and Indian governments aims to support research collaboration between the two countries. The arrangement includes plans for university partnerships, and joint research programmes covering a wide range of areas including AI, sustainability and decarbonisation.

The agreement was signed following a meeting between UK science minister George Freeman and his Indian counterpart Jitendra Singh. It is the latest in a series of bilateral agreements signed by the UK government to bolster research collaboration over the last two years – during which time the country’s participation in the world’s largest research multinational research fund, Horizon Europe, has been on hold.

The latest agreement includes funding to support research in areas including AI, machine learning and bio-imaging. UKRI and the Indian Department for Science and Technology also plan to issue joint research calls on sustainability.

Agreements were also signed to support UK–India research fellowships and university partnerships. These include a project involving Aston University and CSIR Dehradun on sustainable biofuels, and a joint PhD programme between the University of Manchester and the Indian Institute of Science.

Other collaborations to receive support include research on disease detection in shrimp aquaculture and data sharing to identify harmful algal blooms.

The governments have also agreed to establish a ‘UK–India Net Zero Virtual Centre’ to help decarbonise manufacturing and transport, and also plan to develop a partnership to decarbonise India’s pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries.