UK-South Africa Newton Fund Delivery Partner Task Force meets to set future direction

UK and South Africa government representatives underlined the shared commitment to maintain and build this modern science partnership 

LONDON, United Kingdom, April 3, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- On 15-16 March 2018 the UK and the South African governments hosted the 2018 Newton Fund Task Force, a meeting of delivery partners involved in developing and leading joint programmes for the Newton Fund in the UK and South Africa.
The meeting, held in the Newton Fund’s fifth year, provided the opportunity to share best practice and review the direction of current and future projects against the priorities set by the Department of Science and Technology and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

UK and South Africa government representatives underlined the shared commitment to maintain and build this modern science partnership.

Khaya Sishuba, Department of Science and Technology Director of Bilateral Relations said:

“Newton-SA is a strategic research partnership between the two countries and is mostly valued as it advances our research priorities. This partnership has yielded outcomes and impact beyond expectation and we commit to double our effort in making the partnership to reach even higher heights to the benefit of both national systems of innovation. We are also grateful and proud with the wonderful and impressive work packages championed by both countries researchers. Our continued support is assured.”

Nigel Casey, British High Commissioner to South Africa said:

“We are delighted that the 2018 UK-SA Newton Fund task force was a success, providing clarity to our delivery partners on our Governments’ shared agenda, and securing commitment to work towards priorities for science partnership and development that meet South Africa’s needs. It is a true partnership, focused firmly on the future.

Participants shared their experiences of using the UK-SA partnership to deliver real impact; support education and skills development, strengthen the South African research base, shape policy, save lives and translate research into real life applications.

Looking to the future of the partnership, participants agreed to work towards larger, interdisciplinary programmes that address South African priorities in developing the South African Knowledge Economy (e.g. Big Data/Data Science). They also acknowledged that the Fund needs to take a leadership role in ensuring Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs) are able to access funding opportunities.

The two day meeting concluded with a renewed commitment by delivery partners on both sides to ensure the UK-SA Newton Fund programme remains a model of modern bilateral partnership.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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