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THE NEWTON PRIZE

The Newton Prize is a £1 million annual investment by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the best science and development partnerships between the UK and Newton Fund partner countries.

Caption: 2018 Newton Prize Winner Brazil ‘Improving the lives of the Guarani people by saving the Atlantic Forest’. Collecting buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) palm fruits in the upper Rio Negro, Brazil. The project’s focus is on 22 Indigenous groups; training them in the collection and recording of biocultural knowledge so they can undertake their own biocultural research, bringing fundamental benefits for the sustainable and beneficial use of plants throughout the region. Image © Edilson Villegas Ramos / Rede de Comunicadores Indígenas do Rio Negro.

The Prize celebrates excellent innovation, research and knowledge-sharing and is awarded to Newton Funded projects already demonstrating tangible impact on global challenges.

The UK National Commission for UNESCO delivers the prize on behalf of BEIS and the aims of the prize are closely aligned with UNESCO’s mandate to use science and innovation, as well as international collaboration in science, to promote peace, security and sustainable development. Every Newton Prize applicant has the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at the forefront of their work, and this is a key element to becoming a successful prize winner.

The Newton Prize Committee reviews all of the shortlisted applications, along with feedback from the expert peer reviewers, and selects the winners using a consistent scoring system. Find out more about how to apply, how to register as an expert reviewer, or simply more about the prize by clicking on the links below.

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WINNERS

Meet the Newton Prize Winners

Each year, from 2017 until 2021, outstanding Newton funded projects, fellowships or other awards will win the Newton Prize to advance or develop existing Newton funded work. The Prize will be awarded for the best research or innovation promoting economic development and social welfare.

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2020 Partner Countries

  EGYPT, JORDAN, KENYA, SOUTH AFRICA, TURKEY

The 2020 winning projects all contributing to addressing global development challenges and show what can be achieved across a wide spectrum of issues when collaboration is supported. With research projects spanning diagnostic tools for cancer treatment, food insecurity in our oceans and clean energy solutions the 2020 winners are working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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 EGYPT

New Tools to Diagnose and Treat Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is the most common type of cancer in Egypt due to the prevalence of associated conditions such as Hepatitis C, obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. All of which are steadily rising in developing countries. Researchers from Newcastle University and Minia University in Egypt are trying to identify new biomarkers to halt progression of the disease.

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 JORDAN

Faynan’s Cultural Heritage Offers Route to Sustainable Development

Jordan has few natural resources and faces numerous challenges, such as water shortages and the Middle East refugee crisis. It also boasts spectacular sights and a rich history. Tourism is critical to its economic growth, but action is needed to ensure its benefits are received by local communities and the cultural and natural landscapes of Jordan are preserved. This project, based in an impoverished region of southern Jordan called Faynan, is showing how cultural heritage can be used to support sustainable development

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 KENYA

Improving Diagnosis of Maternal Infections

Rates of maternal complications such as sepsis, still births, premature delivery, new-born sepsis, and new-born deaths are high in Kenya. A team of researchers from the University of Hull and Mount Kenya University, have collaborated to address the problem of maternal GBS, which is a dominant cause of stillbirths, neonatal sepsis and mortality in Kenya.

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 SOUTH AFRICA

Tackling Food Insecurity in the Western Indian Ocean

The Western Indian Ocean is facing a humanitarian crisis. The livelihoods of 60 million people depend on the ocean. Professor Michael Roberts of the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton and Nelson Mandela University argues that governments and international organisations need much more information and data to address this urgent but so far under-reported issue.

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 TURKEY

Reducing CO2 Emissions with New Green Concrete

Construction and demolition is responsible for 30% of total urban waste and colossal CO2 emissions. This team, led by researchers from the University of Bradford and Hacettepe University in Turkey, have created a new low-cost ‘green concrete’ made entirely from recycled construction waste. Not only does it reduce CO2 emissions, but also promises its safe permanent storage.

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CHAIR’S PRIZE:  SOUTH AFRICA

New Clean Energy Solutions for South Africa’s Informal Settlements

Without access to safe, affordable and reliable energy families struggle to power businesses. Women and children bear the brunt of health impacts from burning harmful cooking fuels. Children lack reliable electricity to study after dark. A team of experts from the University of Cape Town and the University of Exeter have found a way to support economic activity and reduce reliance on polluting fuels. They are also collecting data to inform and improve long-term energy policy.

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2019 Partner Countries

ASIA   –  CHINA, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES

The 2019 winning projects achieving excellence in science, research and innovation are all contributing to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. With work focussed on eliminating malaria in the Philippines, tackling climate change in China and addressing gender-specific issues in Indonesia these partnerships are all building a more sustainable future.

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 CHINA

Transforming Service Design and Big data Technologies into Sustainable Urbanisation

The winning project addresses the global challenge of urban development as cities expand and populations grow old. The work led to improved transportation services, and better access and suitability of services for the elderly.

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 INDONESIA

Mainstreaming Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation into Coastal Urban Agglomeration Policy

The winning UK-Indonesia partnership is helping to protect coastal communities from the devastation caused by coastal hazards such as flooding and tsunamis. The research has improved Indonesia’s capacity to deal with these events through better communications and warning procedures.

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 PHILLIPINES

Water-Energy-Nutrient Nexus in the Cities of the Future

By converting wastewater into nutrient-rich fertiliser the winning Newton funded project is leading the way on improving the health and prosperity of rapidly urbanising areas in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

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CHAIR’S PRIZE:  CHINA

Regional crop monitoring and assessment with quantitative remote sensing and data assimilation

Food production is under threat from a combination of urban development, shrinking space for arable land, groundwater depletion and other challenges, and climate change is exacerbating these pressures. This Newton funded project designed a new way to monitor crops for global food security.

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2018 Partner Countries

LATIN AMERICA   –  BRAZIL, CHILE, COLOMBIA, MEXICO

Find out how winners in 2018 strengthened science partnerships between the UK and Latin America, delivering pioneering work to improve infrastructure and work towards a peaceful future. Winning projects supported the indigenous Guarani people to restore the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, powered sustainable development in Colombia with coffee waste and developed drought-resistant bean varieties to improve food production in Mexico.

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 BRAZIL

Improving the lives of the Guarani people by saving the Atlantic Forest

The Atlantic Forest in Brazil is one of the world’s richest biomes, home to a large number of species unique to that area. A Newton-funded project between researchers in the UK and Brazil is helping the Guarani restore the Atlantic Forest in their territory.

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 CHILE

Strengthening energy infrastructure to withstand extreme weather and natural disasters

Newton funded scientists in the UK and Chile are using mathematical models to develop a framework that will strengthen power systems in Chile and other countries vulnerable to environmental hazards.

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 COLOMBIA

Turning environmentally damaging coffee waste into electricity

Scientists working on a Newton Fund project in Colombia have found that environmentally damaging coffee waste could be turned into electricity using a microbial fuel cell.

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 MEXICO

New drought resistant beans for sustainable food supply in Mexico

Researchers in the UK and Mexico are developing climate ready elite bean varieties to combat drought related crop losses for Mexican and Latin American agriculture.

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 CHAIR’S PRIZE: CHILE

Documenting the past for a more peaceful future

Examining the case of Chile and the unprecedented documentation work undertaken by civil society organisations during the Pinochet dictatorship, an international research team has shown how the act of documentation itself is an important mode of resistance to human rights violations.

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2017 Partner Countries

ASIA   –  INDIA, MALAYSIA, THAILAND, VIETNAM

Our 2017 winners created innovative, knowledge-sharing, partnerships between countries to tackle challenges such as natural disasters, maternal health and disease control. From improving the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases in children in Thailand to improving conditions in rural areas of India through low cost, high-efficiency solar energy production all our winning projects have changed lives.

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 INDIA

Creating more efficient solar energy

There is a need for a low upfront cost, high-efficiency source of energy production to improve the quality of life in villages in India. The Newton-Bhabha APEX-II programme is a flagship project in solar energy between India and the UK, building on the achievements of an earlier programme.

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 INDIA

Better monitoring of maternal health saves lives

Obstetric haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and sepsis account for more than 50% of maternal deaths worldwide. This Newton-Bhabha funded project is testing the introduction of a new vital sign device into routine maternity care at community and hospital level.

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 MALAYSIA

Sustainable energy from effluent waste processing

Palm oil production is a major contributor to the Malaysian economy but this industry is also a large source of highly polluting waste effluents. This Newton-Ungku Omar Fund project aimed to tackle the issue of generating electricity and biofuel from effluent waste.

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 THAILAND

Improving diagnosis of rare genetic diseases in children

Using the recognised expertise of the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, this Newton Fund project supported Chulalongkorn Paediatrics to develop their own genomics platform and supporting analytics and infrastructure.

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 VIETNAM

Communicating in a disaster

From 2005 to 2014, Vietnam was hit by 649 natural disasters destroying almost half a million homes and causing 10,000 casualties annually. This Newton Fund project tackled the problems of maintaining communications under hostile conditions.

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 CHAIR’S PRIZE: THAILAND

International Network for Shrimp Health (INSH)

This Newton Fund project built on a previous Researcher Links workshop to establish a UK-Thai network in shrimp health focused on knowledge exchange and capacity building, and challenging disease control in aquaculture.

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