The launch of the RCUK Office in India took place on 20 October 2008, hosted by the British High Commissioner Sir Richard Stagg at his residence in New Delhi. In his speech, the High Commissioner emphasised the growing importance of research to diplomatic relations overseas and welcomed the RCUK office to the British High Commission, where it is located.
Speeches were also made by Dr T Ramasami- Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology and Professor John Beddington- UK's Chief Scientific Adviser. Professor Beddington formally launched the office by 'switching on' the office website (http://www.india.rcuk.ac.uk/).
Professor Alan Thorpe, Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), speaking on behalf of RCUK, stressed the importance of international collaboration and warmly welcomed the opening of the office.
The evening was attended by 220 guests, including 92 UK delegates. These included representation from all seven research councils, UK stakeholders with interest or representation in India like British Council, Royal Society, UKTI, DIUS, SIN, DfID and FCO. The event also saw broad Indian policy maker and academic attendance including representation from the Department of Science and Technology, Indian Council of Medical Research, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Indian Council of Social Science Research.
An informal welcome get-together at the Deputy High Commissioner Mr Creon Butler's residence and a themed conference outlining RCUK strategic priorities in India were held on separate days as complimentary activities surrounding the formal launch evening.
A detailed report of the launch event, along with speeches and presentations made on all days can be found here: http://www.india.rcuk.ac.uk/news/090320.htm