The Newton Fund aims to promote the economic development and social welfare of either the partner countries or, through working with the partner country, to address the well being of communities. It will do so through strengthening partner country science and innovation capacity and unlocking further funding to support this work. It is part of the UK’s official development assistance (ODA).
The Fund was launched in 2014 and originally consisted of £75 million each year for 5 years. In the 2015 UK Spending Review it was agreed to extend and expand the Fund. The Newton Fund was extended from 2019 to 2021 and expanded by doubling the £75 million investment to £150 million by 2021, leading to a £735 million UK investment to 2021, with partner countries providing matched resources within the Fund.
The Newton Fund covers three broad activities:
People: increasing capacity in science and innovation, individually and institutionally in partner countries.
Research: research collaborations on development topics.
Translation: creating collaborative solutions to development challenges and strengthening innovation systems.
The Fund is being delivered through 15 UK delivery partners. They develop and run calls, and allocate and manage the money they receive as part of the Newton Fund:
Academy of Medical Sciences
Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng)
Research Councils UK (RCUK)
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Activities must be developed with at least one of the partnering countries. These countries are all on the OECD DAC (the Development Assistant Committee of the OECD) list of ODA eligible recipients. The Newton Fund activities offered in each country are chosen and developed in collaboration with local government and funders. This ensures the programmes offered meet local development priorities. The countries are:
Any activity that a delivery partner supports through the Newton Fund must demonstrate the following:
Eligibility for official development assistance (ODA)
That they utilise an open and transparent process
That the project addresses a strong need and has a clear benefit in-country
That the activity would not take place without the Newton Fund
Matched funding and/or matched effort from the partnering country
Scientific excellence and value for money