UK Leads International Project To Tackle “World’s Biggest Challenges”

The launch of the new UK-led, international project to protect the world’s oceans and develop next-gen “eco-packaging”, the One Ocean Growth hub, is one of a number of new international research collaborations announced by Science and Universities Minister Chris Skidmore. 

The 28 projects, supported with £279 million of Government investment through the modern Industrial Strategy, will see “world-leading” UK researchers collaborating with international partners to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges – from developing the next generation of eco-friendly packaging, tackling the growing problem of anti-microbial resistance, to using the latest technology in AI to improve the lives of millions suffering from dementia.

The funding is part of the modern Industrial Strategy’s ambition to put the UK at the forefront of tackling the world’s grand challenges, generating jobs, opportunity and growth across the UK.

The projects include:

  • The One Ocean Hub, led by the University of Strathclyde, which will bring researchers and local communities together to keep oceans sustainable and cut pollution.
  • A UK-Israel Innovation programme – the first UK-Israel bilateral programme to support business-led innovation, working with the Israeli Innovation Authority to bring together Israeli strengths in start up together with UK companies.  It will develop and strengthen commercial relationships, provide access to large markets and enhance business competitiveness.
  • Tackling anti-microbial resistance – this research programme between the UK and India will develop solutions to tackle anti-microbial resistance which is a growing global health concern.
  • UK-Korea Health Sciences collaboration to focus on better diagnosis of dementia through the use of AI.

The partnerships with major international partners and economies including USA, Canada, Japan and Republic of Korea.

Science and Universities minister Chris Skidmore, said: “The UK has a reputation for globally influential research and innovation, and is at the centre of a web of global collaboration – showing that science has no borders.

“We have a strong history of partnering with other countries – over 50% of UK authored research involves collaborations with international partners.

“The projects being announced today reinforce our commitment to enhance the UK’s excellence in innovation at home and around the world, driving high-skilled jobs, economic growth and productivity as part of the modern Industrial Strategy.”

UKRI Chief Executive Sir Mark Walport – “The Fund for International Collaboration and the creation of twelve global research hubs demonstrate the commitment of the UK to ensuring our researchers and innovators can work with their counterparts across the world to address important questions.”

UKRI Chief Executive Sir Mark Walport said: “From tackling climate change to preventing and treating infectious diseases, the search for knowledge is a global endeavour that requires collaboration between the world’s best minds.

“The Fund for International Collaboration and the creation of twelve global research hubs demonstrate the commitment of the UK to ensuring our researchers and innovators can work with their counterparts across the world to address important questions.”

Of the 28 successful projects, 16 will be receiving a share of £79 million from the Fund for International Collaboration, which will be match funded by partnering developed nations. Twelve projects will be supported by £200 million from the Global Challenges Research Fund. The successful projects are being managed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The Government’s modern Industrial Strategy sets out Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, ensuring that the UK takes advantage of major global changes, improving people’s lives and the country’s productivity.

The first 4 Grand Challenges are focused on the global trends which will transform our future in Artificial Intelligence and data, ageing society, clean growth and the future of mobility.


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  1. I think this is a fantastic investment from the government. However, the problem comes from 3rd world countries dumping plastic packaging into rivers. 6 main rivers across the globe tumble thousands of tons of plastic into the sea every day. I think eco packing and sustainable packaging is awesome, but this won’t resolve the problem at its source?

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