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U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs


Announced in June 2013 by U.S. 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 Global Innovation Initiative is a higher education partnership grant opportunity established between the United States and the United Kingdom aimed at strengthening multilateral research collaborations between universities in the U.S., UK, and other selected countries. The Global Innovation Initiative awarded grants to university consortia focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related issues of global significance that foster cutting-edge multinational research and strengthen institutional international partnerships. The Institute of International Education is administering the U.S. grant competition. For information about the UK grant competition, please visit the British Council webpage.

Goals of the Global Innovation Initiative

  • To increase the global mobility of students, researchers, faculty, and higher education administrators from the U.S., the UK, and other countries;
  • To develop a cadre of people in the U.S., UK, and other countries who have the international experience, outlook, and knowledge to confront global challenges and operate in a global context;
  • To encourage international collaborations that develop capacity across a range of universities in the U.S., the UK, and other countries;
  • To forge university and business linkages that support a globally mobile talent pool and a multinational base for the exchange of discovery and innovation.

The following STEM-related issues are areas of priority for the grant competition:

  • Energy, climate change, and the environment
  • Urban development
  • Agriculture, food security, and water
  • Global Health

Grant Opportunities

The U.S. grant competition awarded a total of 16 grants ranging from $100,000 to $200,000.

Designated Other Countries

The Global Innovation Initiative grants are intended to bring mutual benefit to higher education institutions in the U.S., the UK and selected countries with growing economies through the enhancement of institutional ties and the development of multilateral relationships. The U.S. Department of State and the UK Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills have identified the following four emerging economies as designated countries for the Global Innovation Initiative:

  • Brazil
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia

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