EPSRC-supported project shortlisted for prestigious Newton Prize

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A project supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has been shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize, an annual £1 million fund awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes the economic development and social welfare of developing countries.

The project, Advancing the Efficiency and the Production Potential of Excitonic Solar Cells (APEX) Phase-II, is a flagship project in solar energy between India and the UK. The project focused on addressing the challenges of perovskite solar cells (PSC) which have proved successful in terms of efficiency and costs but have shown materials and device instability from ambient humidity and oxygen in the air.

More than 150 Newton funded projects, fellowships or other awards applied for the Newton Prize from the eligible countries for this year - India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. There are 25 shortlisted applications in total and five prizes of up to £200,000 will be awarded to each winner to be used to advance or develop existing Newton funded work. There will be two winners in India and one each in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Newton Prize winners will be announced at celebratory award ceremonies held in each of the partner countries:

  • India - 01 November
  • Thailand - 08 November
  • Malaysia - 14 November
  • Vietnam - 16 November

The Minister for Universities, Science and Research Jo Johnson will also host a UK event in London in early December to celebrate the first year of the Prize and to announce the 2018 Newton Prize countries.

EPSRC is one of 15 UK delivery partners for the Newton Fund, which builds research and innovation partnerships with 18 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.

The Newton Prize aims to incentivise researchers to participate in the Newton Fund as partners with the UK, and to work on the most important challenges facing Newton countries. The concept for the Newton Prize has been developed to demonstrate how UK partnerships with Newton countries are solving global challenges.

Further information is available on the Newton Fund website. Follow their Twitter feed for regular updates about the Newton Prize: @NewtonFund and #NewtonPrize

Reference: PN 61-17