Friday 25 April 2014


UK and U.S. Governments award grants to 23 university partnerships for international collaboration on global issues

25 April 2014 — 23 new multilateral university partnerships have been created by the Global Innovation Initiative, a new programme funded by the UK and U.S. governments to foster multilateral research collaboration with higher education institutions in Brazil, China, India and Indonesia.

Each partnership will receive a grant of up to £150,000 ($250,000) to fund new research activities, faculty and researcher exchange, joint publications and symposia, and other multilateral efforts. The total funding for these partnership grants is approximately £3 million ($5 million). In addition, the partner universities will support these projects with their own resources, such as use of laboratories, staff and faculty salaries, and private sector contributions valued at a total of roughly £4.27 million ($7.08 million).

Each of the winning proposals address topics of global significance in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including energy, climate change and the environment; agriculture, food security and water; global health and wellbeing; and urbanisation.

The goals of this joint effort between the UK and U.S. are to raise the bar for international collaboration while developing a new cadre of globally-savvy individuals, enhancing global research capacity, strengthening higher education institutional cooperation, and promoting the benefits of multilateral partnerships.

Two parallel, but separate grant competitions were offered in the UK and U.S., with an institution from either country taking the lead on the partnership. Each of the multilateral collaborations was required to include a partner from Brazil, China, India or Indonesia in addition to institutions from the UK and the U.S., in recognition of the growing contribution of these nations to the global knowledge economy and to solving issues of global importance. The winning partnerships and their research topics are listed below.

The Global Innovation Initiative was announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, and formally launched in October 2013 by Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, UK Minister for Universities and Science. The initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of State, the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the British Council, which also serves as the implementing partner in the UK. In the United States, the Institute of International Education is implementing the grant program in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Global Innovation Initiative was created to support multilateral research collaboration to address global challenges, in keeping with the vision of UK Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama’s joint statements in 2011 and 2012.

Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, stated, “The U.S. and UK share a long and rich history of higher education collaboration, and both countries have also benefitted from partnering individually with counterparts in Brazil, India, Indonesia and China. The Global Innovation Initiative will foster new multilateral partnerships in the conviction that major global issues such as climate change, food security, urbanization, and public health require expertise from and collaboration among these key countries.”

At the London launch on 8 October at Lancaster House, Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, remarked that “while the strong partnership between the UK and the U.S. is a solid foundation from which to find solutions to some of today’s global challenges, we believe a multilateral approach through collaboration offers another dimension in finding these solutions.  The Global Innovation Initiative provides a platform to build multilateral collaboration on science, innovation and higher education.  We are looking forward to exploring new areas of partnership with the U.S, not only between ourselves as the two global leaders in science, innovation and higher education, but also with other countries important to our future economic success." 

Notes to Editor


British Council: Tim Sowula, Senior Press Officer,

British Council USA: Alexandra Dimsdale, Manager, Press and Communications,

UK Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills: Emma Brown,

UK Awardees

Bangor University, University of California Los Angeles (US), and Udayana University (Indonesia) Environmental DNA for Rapid Assessment of Biodiversity and Conservation Priorities in Indonesia

Brunel University, University of Oklahoma (US), Sichuan University (China) and Tsinghua University (China) Design and Development of International Electricity Highway Systems

Cardiff University, University of California Davis (US), and China Medical University (China) Develop a novel vaccination method combining electric stimulation and PLGA micro-needles

Loughborough University,  De Montfort University (UK), University of California Berkeley (US), CEPT University Ahmedabad (India) Reducing global energy use in buildings while improving occupant comfort and well-being: reversing the growing trend toward AC

Newcastle University, University of Maryland Baltimore County (US), Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (India) and CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute Nagpur (India) Development of Sustainable Technologies to Investigate, Restore and Protect the Urban Water Environment

Swansea University, University of Maine (US), Sichuan University (China), Hohai University (China) Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia) Ensemble Estimation of Flood Risk in A Changing Climate

University of Bath, Ohio State University (US) and the University of São Paulo (Brazil) TransAtlantic Discovery, Characterization and Application of Enzymes for the Recycling of Polymers and Composites

University of Birmingham, Ohio State University (US) and Beijing Institute of Technology (China) Seeing with Sound-Developing an Echolocation Device based on sensing principles derived from Human Users

University of Brighton, Drexel University (US) and Northwestern Polytechnic University (China) Nanostructured materials for the control of contaminants detrimental to health

University of Bristol, University of Wisconsin Madison (US), Zhijiang University (China) and Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University (India) Global Farm Platforms for Sustainable Ruminant Livestock Production

University of East Anglia, Oregon State University (US), Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (US), Federal University of Mato Grosso (Brazil) and the State University of Mato Grosso (Brazil) Land Use Change, Biodiversity and the Community Ecology of Amazonian Vector-Borne Diseases

University of Nottingham, University of Delaware (US), and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) New Answers For Old Problems: A Global Interdisciplinary Training Network to Address Key Questions in Plant Development for Food

University of Strathclyde, New York University (US) and Wuhan University (China) Wireless Charging Technologies for Electric Vehicles to Improve Energy Utilisation and Reduce Emissions in the Urban Environment

U.S. Awardees

Georgia Institute of Technology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK), and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (India)

Crowdsourcing Water Quality: Using Mobile Technology and Rapid Microbiological Tests

Lehigh University, Queen’s University Belfast (UK), and the Indian Institute of Bombay (India) Transforming Arsenic and Flouride Crisis into an Economic Enterprise through Technology Innovation

Northern Arizona University, Aberystwyth University, and the University of Mataram (Indonesia) Global Innovation for Sustainable Forest Management: Indonesia

Ohio State University, Queen’s University Belfast (UK), Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (China) Innovative Strategies to Control the Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistance in the Global Ecosystem

Purdue University, De Montfort University (UK), Universidade Estadual Paulista (Brazil) Consortium for Rapid Smart Grid Impact

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, University of Reading (UK), Chongqing University (China) The Impact of Ambient Air Pollution in Indoor Air Quality in China: Evaluation of a Practical Intervention

University of California Davis, Oxford University (UK), and Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (China) Fundamental Studies of Hydrogen Processing by Nature’s Catalysts: [NiFe] Hydrogenase Ensymes

University of Florida, University of Liverpool (UK), and Universidad Federal de Pernambuco (Brazil) Salt Intrusion into Estuaries Related to Global Climate Change

University of Michigan, Oxford University (UK), and the University of São Paulo (Brazil) Climate Change Mitigation, Avoided Deforestation and Commodity Agriculture: Assessing Private Sector Innovation for Sustainable Coffee and Cattle in Brazil

University of Rhode Island, University of Stirling (UK), and Institut Pertanian Bogor (Indonesia) Aquaculture Carrying Capacity and Water Quality in Indonesian Lakes and Reservoirs

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