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Innovative research solutions identified to help the world's most vulnerable people


Innovative research solutions identified to help the world's most vulnerable people

17 October 2019 

  • Solution-focussed research receives £14.8M from the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to be developed into practical tools helping millions of people around the world
  • The projects cover a wide range of issues from flooding and plastic pollution to animal diseases and unsafe water
  • They will be delivered by 18 partnerships between UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and organisations from across low and middle income countries

 These new awards are the next step in developing practical tools and commercial opportunities for products and services that can be used by local communities to help make their lives and environments healthier, safer and more sustainable.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has awarded 18 international partnerships, £14.8M – shared between UK HEIs and global research partners. They are specifically aimed to deliver scalable solutions to issues faced by low and middle-income countries, including:  

  • The developing of simple devices to test drinking water for disease to reduce death rates in children
  • Guidance on helping communities rebuild their homes after natural disasters
  • Helping cities with poor air quality build and fix their own air quality monitoring equipment
  • Converting invasive seaweed that is damaging coral reefs into cheap, environmentally friendly fertiliser

The projects have been funded as part of UKRI’s GCRF Innovation and Commercialisation Programme, developed to fast track promising research findings into real-world solutions.

UKRI Director of International Development, Professor Helen Fletcher, said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity to fund 18 projects through the Global Research Translation awards. Each and every one will make a massive difference to peoples’ lives in communities spread across the world to ensure some of the most challenged communities have a brighter future.

“Over the next year and a half, UK researchers will work with their international counterparts, policy makers, businesses and local organisations to turn promising research into solutions that can be taken forward through various pathways such as spin-out companies and social enterprises to make a positive difference to people who live with the reality of challenges such as climate change, poor sanitation and disease every day.”


For media enquiries, contact Tamera Jones, 07702 611906, press@ukri.org


Summaries of the 18 projects (PDF, 149KB)

About GCRF - https://www.ukri.org/research/global-challenges-research-fund/ 

UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.  

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England

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