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UK-Japan partnership to see collaboration on incurable diseases, green technology and AI

Published on 11/01/19 at 09:53am

A new partnership between the UK and Japan will see medical researchers and scientists join forces, in advancing research into chronic conditions - such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis - green technology and AI.

The collaboration, announced by British Prime Minister Theresa May, Business Secretary Greg Clark and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will see £30 million invested into a new partnership aimed at promoting technology and innovation in both Britain and Japan.

The partnership includes a £10 million programme led by the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) and Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) that will advance regenerative medicine.

Greg Clark commented: “The UK and Japan are home to some of the most innovative businesses in the world, and we share the same fundamental belief in the power of enterprise to improve the lives of our citizens. This government wants to give older people at least five extra healthy independent years of life by 2035.”

The partnership will see £10 million go towards research into regenerative medicine through a programme led by the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) and Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

Businesses will also be able to access funding for projects involving robotics assisted living and artificial intelligence (AI). The deal will also see the two countries agree on the ethical use of big data and robotics.

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “The UK is a world leader in AI and data and the unrivalled tech hub of Europe. By working closely with a country at the cutting-edge of AI like Japan, we can make sure we remain global leaders in developing tomorrow’s technology to boost investment, grow our economy, improve people’s lives, and support our long term plan for the NHS.”

A further £20 million will go towards supporting collaborations between British and Japanese researchers. Britain and Japan will also collaborate on best practice in accelerating clean energy innovation as they focus on making the transition towards a low-carbon economy. This will build on the UK’s strengths in carbon capture and Japan’s leadership in hydrogen technologies.

The announcement comes as Abe announced his support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal in the run up to the vote scheduled for Tuesday of next week.

Louis Goss

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