The Newton Fund supports research and innovation partnerships in 17 partner countries through Official Development Assistance (ODA) and contributes to economic development and social welfare. The UK government investment is £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries. The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through seven UK delivery partners, which includes UK Research and Innovation (comprising the seven research councils (including the UK MRC) and Innovate UK), the UK Academies, the British Council and the Met Office. The UK-South Africa Newton Fund is a partnership administered by South Africa’s Department for Science and Technology and the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Based on a matched funding model, the UK-South Africa Newton Fund has already seen co-investment of £30 million since its launch in 2014. The SAMRC, through GIPD, is the delivery partner for the Newton Fund in health, and partners with the UK MRC (the UK delivery partner). Several projects are funded in Newton tuberculosis (TB), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), precision medicine, mental health and anti-microbial resistance (AMR) programmes.
The Newton Fund activities cover three broad areas:
- People: increasing capacity for science and innovation in partner countries;
- Research: research collaborations on development topics;
- Translation: creating collaborative solutions to development challenges and strengthening innovation systems.
The SAMRC-UK MRC Newton Fund supports projects that respond to national health priorities while simultaneously contributing to global health knowledge for impact. Through collaborative international research, upskilling of researchers and developing infrastructure (people), joint research programmes and networks are established to deliver increased multidisciplinary research outputs (research) that inform policies and innovations to ultimately improve the health outcomes of South Africans (translation).