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BBSRC projects shortlisted for prestigious Newton Prize

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Two BBSRC projects have been shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize, an annual £1 million fund awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes the economic development and social welfare of developing countries.

Both projects involve research into rice. The Climate Ready Rice - Optimising Transpiration to Protect Rice Yields under Abiotic Stresses collaboration is screening thousands of Thai rice cultivars and mutants to identify plants with altered number or size of stomata that could be grown in drier or hotter areas.

The other project - Developing Rice Resources for Resilience to Climate Change and Mitigation of Carbon Emissions - aims to develop alternative uses for rice straw, making it more attractive for animal feed and biofuels production.

More than 150 Newton funded projects, fellowships or other awards applied for the Newton Prize from the eligible countries for this year - India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. There are 25 shortlisted applications (see: Newton Fund: Newton Prize 2017 shortlist) in total and five prizes of up to £200,000 will be awarded to each winner to be used to advance or develop existing Newton funded work. There will be two winners in India and one in Malaysia, Thailand and in Vietnam.

The Newton Prize winners will be announced at celebratory award ceremonies held in each of the partner countries:

  • India - 1 November
  • Thailand - 8 November
  • Malaysia - 14 November
  • Vietnam - 16 November

The Minister for Universities, Science and Research Jo Johnson will also host a UK event in London in early December to celebrate the first year of the Prize and to announce the 2018 Newton Prize countries.

BBSRC is one of 15 UK delivery partners for the Newton Fund, which builds research and innovation partnerships with 18 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.

The Newton Prize aims to incentivise researchers to participate in the Newton Fund as partners with the UK, and to work on the most important challenges facing Newton countries. The concept for the Newton Prize has been developed to demonstrate how UK partnerships with Newton countries are solving global challenges.

Further information is available on the Newton Fund website. Follow their Twitter feed for regular updates about the Newton Prize: @NewtonFund.

ENDS

About BBSRC

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.


Tags: food security Newton Fund innovation international BBSRC press release