UKRI Launches Global Research Hubs to Tackle World’s Toughest Challenges

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) brings together the UK’s seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England. The body works to ensure research continues to flourish in the UK whilst working overseas to develop and strengthen research partnerships and capabilities throughout the world.

As part of its global activities, UKRI has announced a five-year investment totalling £200 million in 12 Global Research Hubs. The body will work across 85 countries with governments, international agencies, partners and NGOs in developing countries and around the globe, to develop creative and sustainable solutions to 16 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Hubs focus on a wide range of global challenges, from improving human health and promoting gender equality and social justice to fortifying ecological systems and biodiversity on land and sea, generating agricultural sustainability and fostering greater resilience to natural disasters. Each Hub aims to achieve tangible outcomes that will improve the lives and livelihoods of millions across the world.

The funding comes from the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which forms a key component of the UK AID strategy and puts UK-led research at the heart of efforts to tackle SDGs. A summary of the Hubs is available here.

In addition to the Hubs, UKRI has also announced the launch of the Fund for International Collaboration. This £79 million investment is designed to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global engagement, forging new bilateral and multilateral research and innovation programmes with global partners. The projects involve collaborators from 17 lead countries and include:

A project bringing together international climate and health researchers to ensure we are globally prepared to manage the health risks posed by climate change.

A collaboration between UK and Indian scientists to tackle antimicrobial resistance in the environment, such as from pharmaceutical industrial sources.

A programme developed with the Smithsonian Institution in the USA to explore how digital technology can open up the collections of leading museums to a global audience.

A summary of these projects is available here. Further projects will be announced through the Fund for International Collaboration in due course.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.