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

Initiative Partners:

Dept of State

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Department of State
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. As mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, ECA works to build friendly, peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships.

Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education is the administrative partner operating on behalf of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.