New international programme launched at Commonwealth Science Conference strengthens ties between Indian scientists and the Royal Society

16 June 2017

A gift from the Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation is creating a new programme at the Royal Society to bring the Indian and international scientific communities closer together.

Dr Yusuf Hamied, chairman of the Indian drug giant Cipla Ltd, is making the gift to the Royal Society to foster international collaboration following on from the 2017 Commonwealth Science Conference, a gathering of over 400 researchers from Commonwealth nations in Singapore (13 – 16 June 2017).

Dr Hamied’s gift will give senior academics from India and the Royal Society the opportunity to start or develop links between their research teams. They will make short visits to each other’s countries, and arrange scientific meetings on topics of vital shared importance, to benefit from each other’s experiences and expertise.

Dr Hamied’s generosity will create a five-year programme – the Royal Society Yusuf Hamied Programme for India – starting in 2018 and ending in 2022. It will focus on three areas:

  • 20 visiting professorships, for Fellows to make visits to India of three to 12 weeks
  • 20 international travel grants, for Indian and UK collaborators to visit each other
  • 5 bilateral themed research meetings, held alternately in the UK and India

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, says, “Science depends on the free exchange of ideas and expertise. Dr and Mrs Hamied share our vision of linking up talented researchers from India with the Royal Society. Their generosity will help us bring together the best scientists from around the world who see the importance of science for future prosperity. It is especially apt to be announcing this at the Commonwealth Science Conference, which embodies the fact that modern science is truly global.”

Dr Hamied says, “We are delighted to partner with the Royal Society on a scientific programme with global reach. This will be for challenges facing humanity in various aspects of healthcare including anti-microbial resistance (AMR), chronic diseases and problems relating to ageing.”

The Royal Society has 17 Fellows based in India, but it has had formal links with the scientific community in India since 1841. Many of the most eminent scientists and mathematicians of modern India, starting with Srinivasa Ramanujan, Meghnad Saha, JC and SN Bose, Venkata Raman and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, have been elected as Fellows, often before being more widely recognised.