International research teams to tackle global challenges

18th August 2014

Today saw the opening of the latest round of funding for the Global Innovation Initiative – a joint UK and US government programme that aims to bring together international research teams to tackle some of the biggest global challenges in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

Grants will be awarded to research partnerships from higher education institutions in the UK, US and a designated other country - Brazil, China, India or Indonesia. 

This is the second call for the Initiative – last year the programme awarded £3 million in grants to 23 multilateral research partnerships, including the following projects:

  • Exploring how changes in land use affects biodiversity and vector-borne diseases (team from UK, US and Brazil).
  • Using echolocation to develop a device for blind people to enhance their spatial sensing (team from UK, US and China). 
  • Using rapid crowdsourcing to monitor access to safe drinking water in India and estimate village-scale drinking water risks (team from UK, US and India).
  • Finding solutions to mitigate the problem of waste materials on local ecology, in Indonesia’s aquaculture industry (team from UK, US and Indonesia).

The Initiative was announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry and former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, and formally launched in October 2013 by Rt Hon. David Willetts MP. The Initiative is funded by the British Council, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the U.S. Department of State.  

UK-led partnerships may apply through the British Council for grants ranging from £100,000 - £150,000.  US-led partnerships may apply for grants ranging from $100,000 - $200,000 through the Institute of International Education. 

Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said: “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.”

More information about the Global Innovation Initiative can be found on our opportunities page:

http://www.britishcouncil.org/education/ihe/opportunities/global-innovation-initiative-grant