What is the Global Innovation Initiative?

The Global Innovation Initiative (GII) is a shared commitment of the United Kingdom and the United States to strengthen research collaboration between universities in the UK, US, and selected emerging economies (Brazil, China, India and Indonesia). GII grants will award 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.

Announced by former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of State John Kerry in June 2013, the Global Innovation Initiative is consistent with Prime Minister David Cameron’s and President Barack Obama’s broader commitment to enhance higher education collaboration between the UK, the US and other countries. GII was formally launched in the UK in October 2013 by the Rt. Hon David Willetts MP.  The Initiative is funded by the British Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK and by the Department of State in the US.

GII will award grants to university consortia focusing on STEM-related issues of global significance. The grants intend to bring mutual benefit to higher education institutions in the UK, US and selected countries through the enhancement of institutional ties and the development of multilateral relationships.  

Thematic Areas

GII grants of up to £100,000 - £150,000 were awarded under one of the following thematic areas:

• Energy, environment and climate change

• Urban development

• Agriculture, food security and water

• Global health 

Two parallel but separate grant competitions were offered between the UK and US. Proposals required at least one higher education institution from the UK, the US and Brazil, China, India or Indonesia.

Partnerships led by a UK institution applied through the UK competition administered by the British Council. Those led by a US institution applied through the US competition administered by the Institute of International Education.

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