UK, China Team Up to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

UK - A joint fund of £9 million from the research councils of the UK and China will be used to find new ways of tackling antimicrobial resistance.
calendar icon 27 October 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a huge and complex problem for healthcare and agriculture.

Antibiotic overuse and misuse – in agriculture and human medicine – has led to a growing number of bacteria in humans, animals and the environment that are resistant to them. Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide by 2050 unless action is taken.

A workshop led by the funding agencies is planned 24-26 November 2015 in Shanghai, China, to further understanding of the antibacterial resistance research landscape within the two countries and to explore four core themes that will provide the backdrop of the fund.

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP, who announced the move, said: “Antimicrobial Resistance is a major threat to millions of lives around the world. This £9M joint investment will help leading scientists in the UK and China share expertise and innovations to develop new treatments that could help eradicate this threat to global public health.”

Professor Lu Rongkai, Deputy Director General of the Bureau of International Cooperation, NSFC, said: “The increasing threat posed by antimicrobial resistance is an international issue that requires much deeper understanding, which will only be achieved through an interdisciplinary approach.

"As such, this is a key area to be supported by NSFC’s on-going collaboration with the Research Councils. It is essential that China and the UK work together to tackle this complex, global challenge”

The research councils involved are the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) along with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

The UK contribution (£4.5M) will be channelled through the Newton Fund, an initiative launched in April 2014 intended to strengthen research and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging knowledge economies. The Chinese government will be providing matched funding to support internationally competitive and innovative collaborative projects between researchers from China and the UK.

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