New International Partnership for Soil Security

23rd January 2019

New international collaborations to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment, prepare for health risks posed by climate change and ensure healthy soils for food security are part of world-leading international research announced yesterday.

The three NERC-led projects are among 14 research collaborations supported by the £79 million Fund for International Collaboration (FIC) delivered by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). The fund aims to enhance the UK's excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners. Advanced crop breeding, tackling infectious disease, and clean energy technologies, are among the areas for which the UK will partner with world-leading collaborators to push boundaries and meet 21st century challenges.

The FIC projects were announced by Science & Universities Minister Chris Skidmore, who said:

"The UK has a reputation for globally influential research and innovation, and is at the centre of a web of global collaboration - showing that science has no borders. We have a strong history of partnering with other countries - over 50% of UK authored research involves collaborations with international partners. The projects being announced today reinforce our commitment to enhance the UK's excellence in innovation at home and around the world, driving high-skilled jobs, economic growth and productivity as part of the modern Industrial Strategy."

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said:

"From tackling climate change to preventing and treating infectious diseases, the search for knowledge is a global endeavour that requires collaboration between the world's best minds. The Fund for International Collaboration and the creation of 12 global research hubs demonstrate the commitment of the UK to ensuring our researchers and innovators can work with their counterparts across the world to address important questions."

Delivering Healthy Soils: Signals in the Soil (USA) will develop new solutions for delivering healthy and resilient soils to improve food security, climate change mitigation and public health. This programme will use the UK-US community to co-design an approach that integrates basic soil science research with new sensor, network, and data approaches to transform understanding of soil health through research and monitoring capability.

UKRI support: £8.3 million