The Newton Fund, managed by UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, aims to develop international science and innovation partnerships that promote economic development and improve the quality of life, resulting in stronger bilateral relationships between the UK and its sixteen partner countries, including Thailand.
The Newton Fund was launched in 2014 and originally consisted of yearly grants of £75million over the period of ﬁve years. It has been extended from 2019 to 2021 and expanded by doubling the £75 million investment to £150 million by 2021, leading to a £735 million UK investment by 2021.
British Council is working with the Universities UK International (UUKi) and national co-funders to run programmes in five areas in Thailand. In all of its programmes, British Council focuses on academic areas that are central to Thailand's economic and social development, ranging from humanities and social sciences to science and technology.
Although only launched in April 2014, the Newton Fund has already involved thousands of researchers in Thailand. We have programmes that support researcher mobility and research and innovation partnerships at group and institutional levels including Researcher Links (workshops and travel grants) and Institutional Links, and capacity building of individuals through PhD Placements, Professional Development, Engagement, and STEM Education.
A key collaborative element of Newton Fund project is the matched funding. The matched funding not only enables more to be done with the funding pot but it establishes a relationship wherein both the UK and Thailand have an equal stake in the programme and a responsibility for driving the strategic direction of the fund. In Thailand, the British Council works with 6 Thai partners on the Newton Fund including The Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology(IPST), The National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Ofﬁce (STI), Ofﬁce of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Ofﬁce of the Higher Education Commission(OHEC), Ofﬁce of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC), and Thailand Research Fund (TRF).
“We build links that are crucial, so [researchers] can go on. It has been shown that research, which is internationally mobile is more productive, which is good for Thai and UK researchers.”
Dr. Claire McNulty, Former Director of Science at British Council