From education to employment

£9.3 million funding to transform lives in developing countries with quality education

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £9.3 million to trial innovations that tackle global societal challenges in low-income and emerging economies.

The Global Challenges Research Fund is a £1.5 billion UK government fund that supports cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses problems faced by developing countries.

It aims to encourage UK businesses to work with overseas partners to develop new innovations that could help to transform lives in countries that receive overseas development assistance.

Disadvantaged people in poorer economies can benefit from new and innovative products and services and from the markets and jobs created by them.

UK businesses develop and test new products overseas and find new research partners and markets.

Funding comes from the UK’s Official Development Assistance and must meet its guidelines.

Find out more about Official Development Assistance

Projects must meet UN sustainable development goals

Projects have to meet 1 or 2 of 10 sustainable development goals recognised by the United Nations:

  • good health and well-being
  • quality education
  • clean water and sanitation
  • decent work and economic growth
  • sustainable cities and communities
  • responsible consumption and production
  • climate action
  • life below water
  • life on land
  • peace, justice and strong institutions

They must show understanding of the culture and needs of the relevant country and of the specific challenges and opportunities presented in that country by the innovative technologies.

The competition is in 2 phases

In phase 1, project teams will investigate the feasibility of a demonstration project in a country that receives development assistance and build partnerships in that country.

Successful projects will be invited to apply for phase 2 funding to work with at least one partner in the relevant country on research and development and trials.

Competition information

Find out more about this competition and apply.

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