UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: British minister Pat Mcfadden to visit India to strengthen UK-India ties

Press Release   •   Feb 12, 2010 10:45 GMT

British Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, Pat McFadden, will be visiting India from 13-17 February 2010 to strengthen the UK-India science and innovation relationship.

Top of his agenda will be to address the second bilateral India-UK Science and Innovation Council (SIC) meeting with the Indian Minister for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan in New Delhi.

The minister, along with the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Beddington, will lead the UK delegation at the meeting to discuss potential new multi-million pound research collaborations.

This follows successful joint collaborations to the value of £25 million, including major new research initiatives on next generation IT networks, bioenergy, agricultural biotechnology, and drug discovery.

He will also experience at first hand how both countries have joined forces to tackle key challenges for the UK and India. These include improving the provision of education, equipping people with the tools and skills to rebuild the global economy, and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Mr McFadden said:

“Both the UK and India have recognised how knowledge is the key raw material in the 21st century, and that this can be transformed into new solutions, new innovations, new growth.  Since the first Science and Innovation Council four years ago, our bilateral collaborations have gone from strength to strength, bringing real benefits to our people.

“The UK and India are natural partners of choice to move forward in these fast-moving and increasingly internationalised fields of science and innovation. My visit to India intends to build an even stronger relationship for the future as we tackle the local and global challenges ahead.”

Government Chief Scientific Officer Professor John Beddington said:

"Over the next two decades, as climate change takes increasing hold, the challenge to ensure adequate food, energy and water for a growing and more urban population will become acute. We must pool the many talents of scientists in India and the UK to develop the solutions we shall need."

During the visit the minister will travel to New Delhi, Chandigarh and Ropar.

Other highlights include:

·        A visit to the Delhi University's Centre for Professional & Technical Training, Keshavpuram (13 Feb);

·        To attend a panel discussion in Chandigarh on UK-India partnerships in education, which will showcase the impact and outreach of collaborative work by the British Council (16 Feb);

·        Visit to IIT Ropar to take forward the special partnership announced by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008 on collaborations across a range of areas like faculty and student exchanges, joint research and academic collaborations, student internships (16 Feb); and

·        Join Indian Minister of Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan and UK and Indian scientists, who are working together to examine the way that water cycles may be changing globally, in New Delhi (17 Feb).

Notes for Editors:

1.                  For India media queries, please contact Deepti Soni on Deepti.Soni@fco.gov.uk or call on +91-9810312913.

2.                  For UK media queries, please contact Rachel Clarke, BIS press office, on Rachel.clarke@bis.gsi.gov.uk or call: 18002 020 7215 5945.

3.                  More details about the visit can be found at http://ukinindia.fco.gov.uk

4.                  Minister for Business, Innovations and Skills Pat McFadden’s CV:

Pat McFadden became Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills following the creation of the Department on 5 June 2009.

He was previously appointed Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs at the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform on 29 June 2007.

Prior to that, he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to the Cabinet Office as Minister for Social Exclusion from May 2006.

In 2005 Pat McFadden was elected MP for Wolverhampton South East.

Prior to becoming an MP, Pat McFadden worked in a variety of posts for Tony Blair including Policy Adviser both in opposition and in 10 Downing Street, and was the Prime Minister’s Political Secretary.

Pat McFadden was born in 1965 and grew up in Glasgow, the youngest of seven children. He went to Holy Cross Primary school and later to Holyrood Secondary School. After leaving school he studied politics at Edinburgh University.

Notes to editors

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

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