Global Innovation Initiative Launched

October 28, 2013—The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom have launched the Global Innovation Initiative, a new higher education grant competition created to strengthen higher education research partnerships between the U.S., the UK and selected countries, which have been identified as Brazil, China, India and Indonesia. This initiative will provide exciting grant opportunities for university consortia on topics of global significance in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the following four areas: energy, climate change and the environment; agriculture, food security and water; public health and wellbeing; and urbanization.

For more information about the initiative and how to apply, please visit the Global Innovation Initiative’s website. The application for both country competitions will be available on October 28, 2013 and due on December 16th, 2013. Grant recipients will be announced in early 2014.

The Global Innovation Initiative was created to support multilateral research collaboration to address global challenges, in keeping with the vision of U.S. President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s joint statements in 2011 and 2012. The initiative aims to stimulate innovative partnerships between at least one higher education institution in each of the U.S., the UK, and a designated other country. Grants of up to $250,000 will fund new research activities, faculty and researcher exchange, joint publications and symposia, and numerous other multilateral efforts. These research activities will strengthen institutional partnerships and help forge new, long-term linkages.

“The Global Innovation Initiative will build on the long history of collaboration between the UK and U.S. in higher education, research and development—reflecting our mutual recognition that STEM education and a strong innovation ecosystem are essential elements of economic prosperity, national security, health and welfare, and environmental sustainability.” said Meghann Curtis, the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs.

One of the major goals of the initiative is to build multilateral research capacity at higher education institutions in the U.S., the UK, and the designated four other countries acknowledging the growing contribution of these nations to the global knowledge economy and to solving issues of global importance.
The Global Innovation Initiative was announced by Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, and formally launched in October 2013 at a reception hosted by Rt Hon. David Willetts MP, UK Minister for Universities and Science. The initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of State, UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the British Council, which will also serve as the implementing partner in the UK. In the United States, the Institute of International Education will implement the grant program in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Two parallel, but separate grant competitions will be offered in the U.S. and UK, and an institution from either country will be required to take the lead on the partnership. Partnership proposals with a U.S. lead institution will apply through the U.S. competition and those with a UK lead institution will apply through the UK competition. More information about eligibility and the application process can be found on the Global Innovation Initiative’s website.

In launching this joint effort, the U.S. and UK aim to raise the bar for international collaboration while developing a new cadre of globally-savvy individuals, enhancing global research capacity, strengthening institutional cooperation, and promoting the exponential benefits of multilateral partnerships.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

About IIE’s Center for International Partnerships

IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education is a leader in the field of international partnership building, providing higher education institutions around the world with the resources and tools necessary to develop strategic partnerships with counterparts in other countries. The Center administers partnership-building programs, performs critical and timely policy research, maintains a network of international partnership experts, and provides training through workshops and conferences. In addition to administering the U.S. – Indonesia Partnership Program for Study Abroad Capacity, the Center currently administers the International Academic Partnership Program, which assists U.S. colleges and universities to develop a strategic plan for partnering with a variety of focus countries, including Brazil, India, Vietnam, and Cuba. For more information, please visit the Center for International Partnerships.


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