New research funding to help strengthen UK-Gulf bonds

Scientific research institutions in Britain and across the Gulf are set to benefit from a new £125,000 funding pot backed by the UK government.

The Institutional Links UK-Gulf scheme provides grant funding to research projects involving scientists in Britain and Gulf countries including Oman, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.

It’s run by the British Council and the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, in partnership with the Science Innovation Network. The overarching aim is to help scientists in the UK and the Gulf to come together to fight global challenges.

The Institutional Links programme was established in 2015 and the first round of funding was used to support eight projects across the Gulf region in key sectors, including renewable energy and nanotechnology.

This time £125,000 has been made available, with applicants required to provide match funding. Applications must be submitted by Thursday, June 28.

Qualifying research themes open to institutions in Oman include food security – agritech/aquaculture, and renewable energy – wind, solar, waste to energy.

According to the British Council’s website: “The UK-Gulf Institutional Links programme is part of the UK Government’s strategic commitment to strengthening partnerships with the Gulf countries in our interests and theirs to help tackle the challenges we share.

“Addressing these challenges requires an integrated research and innovation approach, bringing together researchers from different disciplines, sectors, and countries in high-quality collaborations. Institutional Links aims to build UK-Gulf country collaborations centred on those shared challenges which have direct relevance to partner countries’ priorities.”