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GUIDELINES FOR INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION /RESEARCH

PROJECTS IN HEALTH RESEARCH; MoUs

International Health Division

An Indo-Foreign Cell (IFC) was set up in the Indian Council of Medical Research in the early 1980s to coordinate collaboration in biomedical research between India and other countries/ international agencies. The IFC was upgraded to the Division of International Health (IHD) in the year 2000..

International Collaboration & Partnerships

The International collaborations are sought under bilateral, multilateral and/or regional collaborative framework for facilitating and strengthening interactions among governments, academia, institutions and industries in the research areas of mutual interest. Currently, India has several bilateral Science & Technology (S&T) cooperation agreements with other countries to facilitate cooperation in the areas of biomedical research between India and foreign countries. ICMR operates in close cooperation with the Indian Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of External Affairs, Indian missions abroad and foreign missions in India for the international collaborations.

By and large, biomedical research / health sciences prominently figures in all bilateral agreements in the field of Science & Technology. In addition, there are few specific agreements signed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with other countries as well as those signed directly by ICMR with its counterpart International organizations/ Institutions.

The purpose of these agreements has been for: (i) exchange of scientific information; (ii) exchange of scientists/technicians for training under the projects (iii) joint execution of scientific projects, including support in the procurement of scientific equipments; and (iv) organization of joint scientific meetings, seminars, workshops, symposia in identified subjects of cooperation.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)/ Joint Statements/Letters of Intent signed between ICMR and various collaborating global bodies are outlined below:

1. The Indo-German programme has been running in pursuance of Indo-FRG Agreement on Science & Technology signed in January/March, 1974 (Co-ordinated by DST) and subsequently under ICMR-GSF (now taken over by DLR, BMBF), Special Arrangement for cooperation in biomedical sciences signed in January/February, 1976. The ICMR- GSF cooperation was renewed in May, 1990 and further strengthened by signing of an addendum in November, 2005 at New Delhi/Bonn. The areas of cooperation under this agreement cover infectious diseases including AIDS, oncology, family planning and reproduction with special emphasis on birth control, health for mother and child, prenatal medicine, research on scientific basis of traditional medicine with emphasis on composition and pharmacological properties of natural products, environmental toxicology, drug development related to tropical diseases/infectious diseases, bioethics, Antimicrobial Resistance and other biomedical research aspects related to human health.
 

2. An MoU between ICMR and Helmholtz Association (HGF), Germany for cooperation in Medical Research was signed in April, 2006 at Hannover, Germany during the visit by the then Prime Minister of India to Germany. ICMR and Helmholtz Association are distinguished research organizations in their home countries with outstanding scientific resources and technical facilities at their disposal. The areas of interest identified for cooperation, were infectious diseases, oncology& biomedical research related to health. Under this MoU, a virtual Indo-German Science Centre for Infectious Diseases (IG-SCID) was established in April, 2007 which was located at the Council’s Headquarters and slated to promote research in identified areas of infectious diseases through joint research projects with Indian and German funding. The IG-SCID was in operation till 31st December, 2013. The organization of joint workshops, exchange of scientists/ researchers and execution of twinning projects were the modes of cooperation. Five areas of collaborative priority namely Genetic susceptibility, Vaccines & anti-infectives, Viral diseases (HIV/HCV), Animal models of infectious diseases and Zoonoses were identified under this programme..

The MoU between ICMR and HGF was renewed in May, 2011 at New Delhi in the presence of the then Prime Minister of India and H. E. Chancellor of Germany towards active translational efforts to advance the fight against infections in biomedical research with long-term capacity building for researchers and scientists, in both the countries. The MoU was further renewed in May, 2017 at Berlin during the visit of Hon’ble PM of India to Germany for joint research in areas of Chronic Viral Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance.

3. An MoU between the ICMR, Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschafte.V. (DFG), Germany was signed in December, 2021 for cooperation in the Field of Medical Sciences / Health Research. Proposed areas of collaboration under the MoU are in the field of Toxicology, Neglected (tropical) diseases & Rare diseases.

4. An MoU between ICMR and French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) was initially signed in 1989 and renewed in 2000. A Letter of Intent (LOI) between ICMR and INSERM for setting up of an International Associated Laboratory (IAL) in the field of Immunology/Haematology was signed in December, 2010 at New Delhi between the then Secretary, DHR, MOH&FW, GOI & DG, ICMR and CEO, Chairman, INSERM during the visit by delegation of His Excellency, the then President of France to India.

The ICMR-INSERM MoU was renewed on 10th March, 2018 at New Delhi during the visit of Hon’ble President of France to India. Joint research will be collaborated in identified mutual areas of interest –Diabetes and Metabolic disorders; Bioethics with focus on regulatory issues of gene editing and Rare diseases.

5. The Indo-US Joint Statement on Environmental and Occupational Health, Injury Prevention and Control was earlier signed in 2002 and was renewed in June, 2006. This Joint Statement has been further renewed as MoU in June, 2015 to promote and develop cooperation in the field of Environmental and Occupational Health, injury prevention and control research, education and training, infrastructure development and capacity building. Renewed through exchange of letters for five years w.e.f. June, 2020.
 

6. The Indo-US MoU for Cooperation on Cancer Research Prevention Control and Management among the NCI (AIIMS), MOH&FW, ICMR (DHR), DBT (Min of S&T) and NCI (NIH), DHHS, Govt. of USA was signed in June, 2015 at New Delhi for establishment of the general framework of collaboration for promoting and conducting high quality research to strengthen evidence base necessary for cancer prevention, treatment and management. (under consultation for renewal)
 

7. MoU between ICMR and NIH for Cooperation on An International Center of Excellence in Research in Chennai, India at National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai was signed as of statement in June, 2003 and extended in May, 2008. The scientific focus was to continue ongoing activities and to expand cooperation in the areas of epidemiology, molecular biology, medical entomology, parasitology, immunology bacteriology, microbiology, virology etc. with emphasis on techniques for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of tropical infections and allergic diseases. The collaboration was further renewed in January, 2017 through exchange of letters.MoU was renewed for ten years in September, 2021 at USA/India.
 

8. An MoU between ICMR and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), USA was signed on 2nd February, 2022 by IAVI at Philadelphia; on 15th February, 2022 by DBT at New Delhi; on 24th February, 2022 by ICMR at New Delhi. This MoU proposes to collaborate to prevent, diagnose and/or treat diseases of concern in India and globally, including HIV, COVID-19, Tuberculosis and other emerging and infectious and neglected diseases; Product development including translational research, preclinical and clinical development, community engagement and socio-behavioural research, low cost manufacturing, public health access, etc

Earlier an MoU between ICMR and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), USA was signed in Oct/November 2014 respectively at New York / New Delhi to collaborate and contribute their experiences and resources on AIDS Vaccine development and evaluation of one or more safe and effective AIDS vaccines
 

9.An MoU between ICMR and Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) was signed in April, 2011. Some of the priority areas of collaboration proposed by GACD founding members are prevention of cardiovascular diseases; public health measures for the control of diabetes and obesity; characterization, quantification of risk factors (tobacco and environmental pollution), and development of control measures for chronic obstructive airways disease, cancer cardiovascular disease and other disorders; and implementation research of interventions to address these and other priorities. The programme is reviewed periodically through Strategy Board Meetings.
 

10. An MoU between ICMR and Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), Switzerland was signed in October, 2015 at New Delhi for cooperation in neglected diseases which was renewed in September, 2020 for five years through exchange of letters.
 

11.An MoU between ICMR and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Switzerland , was signed in February, 2021 from ICMR, New Delhi and FIND, Switzerland respectively. The MoU aims to enhance co-operation between India & FIND in the area of Anti-Microbial Resistance; Research and Innovation.

12.An MoU between ICMR and the GARDP Foundation on Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Innovation, Switzerland , was signed in March, 2021/April, 2021 from ICMR, New Delhi and GARDP, Switzerland respectively. This MoU enhance co-operation between India & GARDP in the area of Anti-Microbial Resistance; Research and Innovation.

13. A Tripartite MoU between ICMR, Department of Health Research; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI and International Vaccine Institute, South Korea was signed in August, 2017 at New Delhi in the area of Vaccine development. The programme is reviewed through Board of Trustees meetings periodically. An EoI was signed in December, 2020 for designation and operation of ICMR-IVI Collaborating Centre for Vaccine Research

14. An MoU between ICMR and the African Union (AU) was signed on 27thMarch, 2019 at ICMR, New Delhi. It is envisioned that the commonalities between Africa and India in disease epidemiology, including communicable & non-communicable diseases and other health-specific issues(such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Cancer, Emerging and re-emerging infections, Vector control, Health Systems) can be well-addressed through collaborative research programs focusing on population-based studies and disease specific product development and address the SDGs through generation of research evidence and validation in humans. Efforts will be made to encourage African entrepreneurship in the health sciences through technology transfer, training and hands-on experience.

15. An MoU between The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Department of Medical Research (DMR), Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar In the Field of Health Research was signed on 27th February, 2020 during the visit of Hon’ble President of Myanmar to India. The collaboration is in the areas of Elimination of Infectious Diseases, Development of network platform for emerging and viral infections, training/ capacity building in Research methodology management, clinical trials, ethics etc. and harmonization of regulatory mechanism.

16 . An MoU between ICMR and Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC), Nepal was signed in November 2020/January 2021 from ICMR, New Delhi and NHRC, Nepal respectively. The MoU aims to enhance the bilateral cooperation between India and Nepal in the field of Health Research.

Collaborative areas for joint research of mutual interest such as: (i) Cross-border health issues, Ayurveda/traditional medicine and medicinal plants, Climate change and health, Non-communicable diseases, Mental health, Population based cancer registry. Tropical diseases (vector-borne diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Malaria, JE etc), Influenza,Clinical Trial Registry, Health research ethics and Any other area of mutual interest (ii) Capacity building through exchange of knowledge, skills, tools and fellows (iii) Collaboration for adoption of tools, guidelines, protocols and best practices related to health research.

17. An MoU between the ICMR, Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and the University of Oxford, United Kingdom was signed in November, 2021.Parties intend to work together for their mutual benefit in the field of infectious diseases commonly affecting socially marginalized groups and emerging health conditions. The aim is to work towards developing data platforms focusing on the old endemics as well as emerging health concerns.

18. The Indo-US Joint Statement on HIV/AIDS was signed in 2000 and further renewed in June 2006; October, 2011and in June, 2015 through exchange of letters. The renewed cooperation in the field of STD and HIV /AIDS intends to continue and develop cooperation in the field of basic, clinical, translational, prevention research, training and infrastructure strengthening. (under consultation for renewal as MoU)
 

19. The Indo-US Joint Statement on Diabetes Research was signed in June, 2012 in USA and renewed in 2017 through exchange of letters. The collaborative research projects are mainly aimed for capacity building through scientific knowledge, technology and training needs, developing tools for disease control and prevention such as vaccine and collaboration on prevention, treatment and elimination of disease. To generate a better understanding of the molecular and biological mechanisms underlying diabetes, to characterize the genetics, social and environmental determinants and to identify innovative approaches for improving prevention and treatment of diabetes, developing cost effective tools and approaches to translate research results into policies and actions to improve public health. (under consultation for renewal as MoU)
 

20. The Indo-US Letter of Intent (LoI) between ICMR, New Delhi and Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of India and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health, DHHS, USA was signed in June, 2015 on Antimicrobial Resistance Research. (under consultation for renewal)
 

21. A Memorandum of Intent (MoI) between ICMR and Swedish Research Council for Health Working Life and Welfare (FORTE) was signed in June, 2015 at Stockholm, under India -Sweden agreement on cooperation in the field of healthcare and public health during the visit by the then President of India to Sweden. The MoI is to increase bilateral cooperation between Sweden and India in the field of Ageing and Health to enhance the understanding of demographic change and impact of migration on physical and mental health and well-being of the elderly forms and systems of care of the elderly and use of ICT assistive technology and addressing issues related to nutrition in elderly.
 

22. A Tripartite DoI between The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America (USA); and, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), USAwas signed in October/November, 2019 and was exchanged during the visit of Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to ICMR hqrs, New Delhi on 17th November, 2019. The collaboration will establish a clinical research fellowship programme for young scientists in India and the USA to expand research that will advance discovery to improve clinical practice and benefit public health in both countries. The initial focus of this fellowship programme is to be for scientists engaging in infectious disease and immunology research, with an emphasis on diseases that affect women and children.

23. A LoI between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Department of Health Research (DHR) and the Ministry of Health & Social Protection and The Ministry of Science, Technology & lnnovation, Colombia was signed on 2nd October, 2021 at New Delhi to address health research topics, build capacity and developed sustained cooperation for research areas of mutual interest that are of public health importance to India and Colombia.

  • The Joint Call for Proposals under the above mentioned MoUs/Joint Statements of ICMR with various International agencies are advertised on the respective websites of related Parties from time to time along with details on subject area and required documents to be submitted in specific formats.
     
  • For assistance from other foreign Funding Agencies/Organizations/ Foundations: The prescribed format of the concerned agency is to be used. If there is no prescribed format, proposals are to be prepared by using ICMR FormatDownload Form.
     
  • National Funding Agencies: Indian investigators are also advised to look out for periodic call for proposals issued under various bilateral or multilateral collaborative programmes by other Indian agencies (such as DBT; DST; CSIR etc) supporting Health/Biomedical research.

CONTACT PERSON AT ICMR

Dr. Mukesh Kumar
Scientist G & Head
International Health Division
mukeshk.hq@icmr.gov.in

Tel. 91-11-26588755
Tele. 26589794,26588980
Extn.242

Dr. Harpreet Sandhu
Scientist F
International Health Division
sandhuh.hq@icmr.gov.in

Tele Fax. 91-11-26589492
Tele. 26589794,26588980
Extn.237

Dr. Reema Roshan
Scientist C & Program Officer (HMSC)
International Health Division
reemaroshan.hq@icmr.gov.in

Tele Fax. 91-11-26589492
Tele. 26589794,26588980
Extn.361

International Health Division (IHD)
Indian Council of Medical Research
V. Ramalingaswami Bhawan,
Ansari Nagar,
New Delhi - 110029, India 
Website:https://icmr.nic.in

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