Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK to boost tech and innovation ties with India [May 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 27 May 2023.

Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad will visit India from 27 to 31 May to accelerate science and technology ties.

  • Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, Minister of State for the Middle East, South Asia, UN and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict is visiting India from 27 to 31 May, with a focus on strengthening science, research and innovation links
  • he will visit historic cultural sites and high-tech research facilities in Jodhpur, New Delhi and Hyderabad while meeting senior officials from the Indian government
  • Lord Ahmad will announce the UK-India Health-Tech Bootcamp winners, welcoming collaboration between the health and start-up communities in both countries

Lord Ahmad is in India for a visit that will accelerate UK-India collaboration on science, technology and health, following a landmark agreement on science, research and innovation signed by the 2 countries in April.

Building on the ambitions for the UK-India relationship set out in the 2030 Roadmap, Lord Ahmad will meet senior Indian ministers and officials, including Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant.

The visit’s focus on science, technology and innovation emphasises the UK’s commitment to deepen partnerships in these areas across the globe – evidenced by the recent announcement of a new Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific. Strengthening the UK-India relationship is a key pillar of the UK’s long-term foreign policy, as part of its enduring engagement in the Indo-Pacific set out in the Integrated Review Refresh.

UK Minister for South Asia Lord Ahmad said:

The UK and India are trusted partners united by the unique living bridge that closely connects our countries and people.

Building on the 2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations, we are deepening our collaboration on science and technology, bringing new innovations to both our nations.

The visit comes as the UK and India continue to make progress towards a mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement (FTA). An ambitious, balanced FTA would boost our current trading relationship, worth £36 billion in 2022.

A trade deal with India supports the government’s growth strategy to take advantage of the UK’s status as an independent trading nation, creating new trade and investment opportunities and championing free trade.

Lord Ahmad’s visit to Rajasthan will be his first trip to his mother’s birthplace of Jodphur as Minister for South Asia and will highlight the region’s rich cultural history.  He will visit the iconic Mehrangarh Fort, and discuss education, sustainability and gender equality with emerging women leaders.

In New Delhi, Lord Ahmad will launch the ‘English Skills for Youth’ programme, co-developed by the British Council and Microsoft India, which will enhance global employment opportunities for Indian young people, especially young women. The Minister will announce the winners of the UK-India Health-Tech Boot camp boosting health-tech innovations from India.

Concluding his visit in Hyderabad, Lord Ahmad will highlight science and tech innovations with trips to T-Hub and T-Works, the technology start-up incubator and prototyping facility which are part of the world’s largest innovation campus, and space launch vehicle company Skyroot. He will also visit the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology and discuss further potential for science and technology collaboration with Indian alumni of Chevening, the UK’s flagship international scholarship programme.

Christina Scott, Acting British High Commissioner to India, said:

The UK and India enjoy an invaluable partnership. As we deliver the UK-India Roadmap 2030, we are deepening and accelerating our collaboration on health, climate, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.

With India’s Presidency of the G20, we have an opportunity also for the UK and India to work together to shape and deliver solutions to global problems.