£5m to Understand COVID-19 Severity in India and the UK

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The FINANCIAL — Four research partnerships have been funded to provide a deeper understanding of COVID-19 severity in South Asian populations located in India and the UK.

The projects, worth £5 million, will be funded in partnership between India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Fund for International Collaboration.

According to UKRI, through the UK-India COVID-19 Partnership Initiative, DBT and UKRI will support world-leading UK-India research teams.

Understanding the pandemic

The successful projects aim to understand the pandemic through the study of related ethnic groups in different environments in both countries.

These projects have the potential to deliver public health impacts in mitigating the severity of the COVID-19 in both the UK and India.

Announcing these new joint projects, UKRI International Champion, Professor Christopher Smith said:

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the vital role of international science and innovation partnerships in collecting information, sharing knowledge and experiences and developing rapid solutions to tackle worldwide problems.

These four new joint collaborative research projects build on the strong research and innovation links between the UK and India, bringing together world-leading research teams who are focused on mitigating the severity of COVID-19 in South Asian populations in the UK and India, UKRI notes.

Decade long partnership

Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary of India’s DBT said: The fast track UK-India COVID-19 Partnership Initiative has been possible because of more than a decade long close association between India and the UK for biotechnology research and innovation.

This partnership builds on the joint strengths of the Indian and UK research communities and I am very pleased that these high-quality projects have high potential for direct impact in the form of improved understanding of a rapidly evolving pandemic.

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These projects are likely to offer evidence-based solutions towards mitigating the severity of the outbreak in both the UK and India.

This partnership also exemplifies the spirit of global partnerships in addressing global issues.

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