UK-South East Asia Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub receives visit from the Foreign Secretary

The UK-South East Asia Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub was one of the projects showcased to the Foreign Secretary during his recent visit to Thailand.

Prof. Tuck Seng Wong showing a research poster to the Foreign Secretary

The Foreign Secretary travelled to Thailand on 20 March. The aim of the visit was to drive forward the UK’s partnership with one of the biggest economies in South East Asia. 

The visit included a trip to Chulalongkorn University where he was joined by the Thai Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, Supamas Isarabhakdi, and President of Chulalongkorn University, Professor Bundhit Eua-arporn. 

During the visit to the university he highlighted the ambition of the International Science Partnership Fund (ISPF) which aims to help scientific collaboration between UK and Thai researchers and innovators to solve shared global challenges and foster prosperity. Some of the projects showcased during his visit, benefiting from ISPF, aim to tackle some of the world’s deadliest diseases, build food security networks and develop clean energy systems.

One of the flagship projects highlighted during the trip was the UK-South East Asia Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub which is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and EPSRC. The Hub, directed by Professor Tuck Seng Wong, is comprised of five universities – Sheffield, Cambridge, York, Kent, and Chulalongkorn – along with 16 partners in Southeast Asia, the consortium includes vaccine manufacturers, universities, research institutes, and governmental agencies across five South East Asian countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 

Professor Wong said: “The Foreign Secretary's visit underscores UK's dedication to enhancing global health security and showcases UK's leadership in science and innovation. Moreover, it serves as a powerful catalyst, inspiring our partners in South East Asia to collaborate towards mutual regional advancement.”

The UK-South East Asia Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub aims to enable fair and timely access of affordable and high-quality vaccines in South East Asia. These vaccines will target dengue, hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), tuberculosis, rabies and hepatitis, with the Hub focusing on three vaccine types: protein, mRNA and viral vector.

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