Funding boost to help fast track global challenges research

The University of Liverpool has been awarded more than £650,000 from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to help deliver scalable solutions to issues faced by low and middle-income countries.

The award is one of 18 announced today as part of £14.8M from the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to be developed into practical tools helping millions of people around the world.

Liverpool’s award will fund eight University-led projects, representing all three faculties and covering a wide range of issues from coastal erosion and zoonotic diseases, to museum education and unsafe water.

Professor Matthew Baylis, who led the University’s successful funding bid, said: “I am delighted that the University of Liverpool is one of a select group of universities to have been given a Global Research Translation Award, reflecting the high quality of our research and our profile as a global University. This award will enable some of our leading researchers to translate their research into impact that directly benefits people in Low and Middle Income countries around the world.”

These new awards are the next step in developing practical tools and commercial opportunities for products and services that can be used by local communities to help make their lives and environments healthier, safer and more sustainable.

The projects have been funded as part of UKRI’s GCRF Innovation and Commercialisation Programme, developed to fast track promising research findings into real-world solutions.

UKRI Director of International Development, Professor Helen Fletcher, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to fund 18 projects through the Global Research Translation awards. Each and every one will make a massive difference to peoples’ lives in communities spread across the world to ensure some of the most challenged communities have a brighter future.

“Over the next year and a half, UK researchers will work with their international counterparts, policy makers, businesses and local organisations to turn promising research into solutions that can be taken forward through various pathways such as spin-out companies and social enterprises to make a positive difference to people who live with the reality of challenges such as climate change, poor sanitation and disease every day.”

University of Liverpool projects and academic leads

  • Translation of zoonoses research into policy in the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda) – Dr Siobhan Mor, Institute of Infection and Global Health
  • Automated diabetic eye screening in rural China – Dr Yalin Zheng, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease
  • Point-of-care screening for diabetic retinopathy at district hospital level in Malawi – Dr Philip Burgess, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease
  • Illustrating psychosocial support for refugees in Uganda and Rwanda – Dr Ross White, Department of Psychological Sciences
  • Commercialisation opportunities for museums in Colombia – Professor Claire Taylor, School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
  • Valuing agroforestry for sustainable land use in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Ghana – Dr Jenny Hodgson, Institute of Integrative Biology
  • Sensing of coastal erosion hazard in St Vincent & the Grenadines, Professor Andy Plater, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Point-of-use water filtration in India – Dr Raechelle D’Sa, School of Engineering

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