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GCRF 2? The launch of the Official Development Assistance component of the International Science Partnerships Fund

In this blog post, Conor Snowden, Strategic Research Executive in Edinburgh Research Office, shares information about the launch of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) component of the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF).

The UK Government Department of Science, Innovation and Technology has recently announced that it has received approval from the Treasury to launch the Official Development Assistance (ODA) component of the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF).  This will be a replacement to GCRF and the Newton Fund and with up to £200 million ODA allocated until March 2025, ISPF is poised to include research and innovation partnerships with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This announcement builds on the £119 million allocated for non-ODA partnerships when ISPF was inaugurated in December 2022.

The ISPF aims to create partnerships that leverage the expertise and resources of the UK’s scientific community to drive positive outcomes in LMICs. These partnerships will cover a wide array of fields, ranging from healthcare and agriculture to clean energy and technology transfer.   The Fund is designed to work in partnership with UK’s participation in Horizon Europe and generally there should be complementarity in calls.

The UK Government believes that the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF) represents a critical initiative in the UK’s commitment to supporting global development. By harnessing the power of scientific research and innovation, ISPF aims to address complex challenges faced by LMICs and promote sustainable growth on a global scale. The inclusion of the ODA component aims to reinforce further the UK’s commitment to ODA research. However given the cuts to this very type of funding in 2021, we will need to see proof of this commitment through new funding calls.

After the huge success of ODA-funded projects in the University of Edinburgh, which built research partnerships with LMICs and addressed key global challenges, Edinburgh Research Office will be closely following this latest announcement and we hope to see calls from UKRI and other delivery partners soon.

Edinburgh Research Office resources

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Conor Snowden


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