RM41.6 million fund open to Malaysian researchers on climate change

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(October 17):  More than RM40 million is available in funding for local researchers to develop solutions to modern-day challenges of climate change and sustainability, thanks to the Newton-Ungku Omar fund, a joint initiative between the Malaysian and British governments.

The fund allocates RM41.6 million (£8 million) for the first of its five-year duration to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between both countries.

The focus areas of research are global challenges such as urbanisation, food and energy security and the social and economic needs of a growing and ageing population.

The fund's goal among others is to make a substantial impact to the problems presented by climate change as well as sustainability.

Interested researchers have until November 20 to submit their applications for the first round of the grants, to be delivered by the British Council Malaysia.

“Discovering the laws of motion and gravity made Sir Isaac Newton one of the most influential scientists in history, while Professor Dato' Ungku Omar bin Ahmad made great contributions to the advancement of medical science," said Britain's Deputy High Commissioner, Paul Rennie.

"The Newton-Ungku Omar Fund will create new opportunities to enhance our bilateral relationship and for UK and Malaysian scientists to work together on potentially life-changing research and innovation initiatives," he added.

The Newton-Ungku Omar Fund will support building skills and knowledge amongst scientists and researchers through study tours and exchanges, collaborative research programmes and the application of research into the market, the British Foreign Commonwealth Office in Malaysia said.

In the UK, the fund is administered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, while in Malaysia, it is coordinated by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the British High Commission.