4 November 2020
Four British Council-supported Newton Fund research project teams are celebrating their success at the Newton Prize 2020, each winning up to £200,000 to take their research to the next level.
The four projects in Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and Turkey were among the six winners announced today at the Newton Prize virtual awards event, which were selected from a shortlist featuring 27 research and innovation projects between the UK and Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, South Africa, and Turkey.
The annual Newton Prize recognises pioneering research and innovations that come from international partnerships, with each project helping to solve global development challenges. The British Council-supported projects tackle a range of pressing issues: the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer in Egypt, food insecurity in the Western Indian Ocean, the diagnosis of maternal infections in Kenya, and reducing CO2 emissions with new green concrete in Turkey.
The prizewinning teams will now share £1.5 million additional funding between the six overall winning projects to enable them to continue their work to support sustainable impact through science, research and innovation.
British Council Chief Executive Sir Ciarán Devane said: ‘The Newton Prize is a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the important research that is undertaken to address global developmental challenges. It demonstrates how international research partnerships and networks, created through the Newton Fund, contribute to welfare and sustainable long-term growth in partner countries and globally. Many congratulations to the winners.'
The global British Council science network join the Chief Executive in paying tribute to the Newton Fund and the winning research teams at this year’s Newton Prize.
Jill Coates, Country Director, British Council Kenya said: ‘The Newton Fund has created collaboration opportunities and developed the research and innovation capacity of over 400 early career researchers from Kenya and the UK. I am delighted that one of our most impactful Kenyan partnerships has won the Newton Prize 2020. Congratulations to the teams at the University of Hull and Mount Kenya University for their ground-breaking work in maternal health.’
Meekness Lunga, Science Programme Manager, British Council South Africa said: ‘This UK-South Africa Newton Funded Research Chair is breaking new grounds by building an innovation bridge to address the emerging marine food security crisis in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. It is impressive to see the impact it has made towards building a new cohort of African scientists by mentoring graduates from developing countries into marine science as a career.’
Shaimaa El-Banna, Head of Science Programmes, British Council Egypt commented: ‘Through the Newton Fund, over the past 5 years we’ve supported 152 young Egyptian PhD researchers like our prize winner to work with leading UK scientists to not only enhance their skills but to work more on tackling major challenges for Egypt like liver cancer.’
Erhan Yavas, Newton-Katip Celebi Fund Programme Coordinator, British Council Turkey added: ‘Congratulations to our winning project team! Since 2014, the Newton-Katip Celebi Fund has supported 140 research projects and over 110 connections have been created between research institutions in Turkey and the UK.’