Matt Wright


The Global Innovation Initiative (GII) is a shared commitment between 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 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 was consistent with Prime Minister David Cameron’s and President Barack Obama’s broader commitment to enhancing higher education collaborations 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.  


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.

GII 2015 Projects and Awardees

Projects and Awardees

Fourteen grants were awarded in 2015 for the Global Innovation Initiative through the UK and US competitions.  US Awardees were administrated by the Institution for International Education. Details of the awarded partnerships can be found below.

  • Global Bioenergy, Biofuels and Biorefining Network: GB3-Net - Aston University, University of Wisconsin-Madison (U.S.), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (China), University of Kentucky (U.S.), University of Massachusetts, Amherst (U.S.), and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Establishing a network of research excellence for mine reclamation in Southeast Asia - Bangor University, Western Carolina University (U.S.), Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia), Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia), Universitas Diponegoro (Indonesia), Universitas Brawijaya (Indonesia), Southeast Asian Region for Tropical Biology (Indonesia), and Aberystwyth University (UK)
  • ICECAP2 - International Collaborative Exploration of Central East Antarctica through Airborne geophysical Profiling - Imperial College London, University of Texas, Austin (U.S.), Beijing Normal University (China), University of Delhi (India), Polar Research Institute of China (China), British Antarctic Survey (UK), and the University of Bristol (UK)
  • SITARA: Smart Grid to harness Satellite-based Virtual Power Plants for energy sustainability - University of Bradford, North Carolina State University (U.S.), and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (India)
  • Oral and cervical cancer in rural India: Using mHealth and primary care to improve prevention, screening, and early diagnosis - University of Edinburgh, Weill Cornell Medical College (U.S.), and the Christian Medical College (India)
  • Flood impact assessment in megacities under urban sprawl and climate change - University of Exeter, University of Central Florida (U.S.), and Tsinghua University (China)
  • Novel nanostructured conjugates for deep sensitive cancer detection and noninvasive highly efficient cancer therapy - University of Sheffield, University of Michigan (U.S.), and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
  • Sleep, circadian rhythms, and cardiovascular health across ethnicities - a small Brazilian town as a model for global health issues - University of Surrey, University of Chicago (U.S.), and the University of São Paulo (Brazil)

GII 2014 Projects and Awardees

Projects and Awardees

Twenty-three grants were awarded in the inaugural year of the Global Innovation Initiative through the UK and US competitions. US Awardees were administrated by the Institution for International Education. Details of the awarded partnerships can be found below.

  • Environmental DNA for Rapid Assessment of Biodiversity and Conservation Priorities in Indonesia - Bangor University, University of California Los Angeles, Udayana University (Indonesia)
  • Design and Development of International Electricity Highway Systems - Brunel University, University of Oklahoma, Sichuan University (China), Tsinghua University (China)
  • Develop a novel vaccination method combining electric stimulation and PLGA micro-needles - Cardiff University, University of California Davis, China Medical University (China)
  • Reducing global energy use in buildings while improving occupant comfort and well-being: reversing the growing trend toward AC - Loughborough University, University of California Berkeley, CEPT University Ahmedabad (India)
  • Development of Sustainable Technologies to Investigate, Restore and Protect the Urban Water Environment - Newcastle University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (India), CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute Nagpur (India)
  • Ensemble Estimation of Flood Risk in A Changing Climate - Swansea University, University of Maine, Sichuan University (China), Hohai University (China), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia)
  • TransAtlantic Discovery, Characterization and Application of Enzymes for the Recycling of Polymers and Composites - University of Bath, Ohio State University, University of São Paulo (Brazil)
  • Seeing with Sound-Developing an Echolocation Device based on sensing principles derived from Human Users - University of Birmingham, Ohio State University, Beijing Institute of Technology (China)
  • Nanostructured materials for the control of contaminants detrimental to health - University of Brighton, Drexel University, Northwestern Polytechnic University (China)
  • Global Farm Platforms for Sustainable Ruminant Livestock Production - University of Bristol, University of Wisconsin Madison, Zhijiang University (China), Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University (India)
  • Land Use Change, Biodiversity and the Community Ecology of Amazonian Vector-Borne Diseases - University of East Anglia, Oregon State University, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Federal University of Mato Grosso (Brazil), State University of Mato Grosso (Brazil)
  • New Answers For Old Problems: A Global Interdisciplinary Training Network to Address Key Questions in Plant Development for Food - University of Nottingham, University of Delaware, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
  • Wireless Charging Technologies for Electric Vehicles to Improve Energy Utilisation and Reduce Emissions in the Urban Environment - University of Strathclyde, New York University, Wuhan University (China)