The world is changing fast, and global issues require global solutions. Countries need to work together to tackle issues like climate change, promoting equality, sustainability and prosperity, and providing for a skilled working population and a healthy old age. Many of these challenges are fundamentally human in nature and social science and humanities-led research is vital to understanding these challenges and informing policy.

This is the big message behind the ‘Collaborative Research with Impact’ event, which is being organised by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) with Research Councils UK (RCUK) India, in New Delhi, 8-9 March 2017.

The purpose of the event is to showcase the achievements of the three year EU-India Social Sciences and Humanities Platform (EqUIP), a €1.5 million project, funded by the European Commission, which aimed to foster and strengthen relationships between social sciences and humanities research funding agencies in Europe and India. EqUIP is the first ever international research collaboration network between India and the European Union that has been specifically dedicated to social science and humanities.

The event brings together research funders, academia and policy makers to discuss the demand for, and potential impact of research collaboration between India and Europe to inform policy, practice and decision-making. Topics discussed will include the opportunities, barriers and current best practice in using research to inform decision-making. Speakers include Professor Ravinder Kaur from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi; Dr Tom Wakeford from Coventry University, UK; Professor Martin Fuchs, from the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, Germany; and Professor Maja Bucar, from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

"India is an increasingly important research performing nation, with world renowned social science and humanities researchers, writers and artists," said Dr Jacqui Karn, Senior International Policy Manager, ESRC. "The historical and cultural links between India and Europe mean that there is a great appetite for working together more, which is what this event is all about".

At the event ICSSR announced its intention to join EqUIP’s first joint initiative to fund research activity which will build on the stronger links and relationships that have been developed throughout the three year EqUIP project between European and Indian funding agencies. This will be the first initiative of its kind between ICSSR and a number of European countries.

Professor Virendra Kumar Malhotra, Member Secretary, ICSSR said, "I’m pleased to announce that ICSSR is committed to participating in the EqUIP programme, in the future. With other EqUIP partners, we are now engaged in the process of designing the pilot call which will be launched soon in India and Europe".

An EU-India joint research initiative will be announced shortly.