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Global Challenges Initiative

The Cambridge Strategic Research Initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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Collaborations within University of Cambridge

The Global Challenges Initiative is a Strategic Research Initiative currently involving over 200 researchers from across the University of Cambridge. Participants come from the physical and biological sciences, engineering and technology, business, law and medicine, and the arts, humanities and social sciences. We collaborate with other networks and groups whose work engages global challenges. For instance, we are working with the Synthetic Biology at Cambridge SRI on rapid diagnostics and frugal biotechnology in Africa, with the Cambridge Global Food Security SRI on enhancing sustainable food supplies in India, and with ideaSpace’s innovationLabs on Infrastructure for Fair Global Societies. Other collaborations include with the PublicHealth @ Cambridge SRI, the Energy @ Cambridge SRI, the Digital Humanities Network, the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP), Cambridge Africa and the Nano Doctoral Training Centre.

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Providing a legal identity with digital data

Dec 14, 2017

A personal legal identity is crucial for accessing benefits and services, and is seen as a key driver for prosperity in developing countries. A digital identification system based on behavioural data can provide a legal identity for people in underdeveloped countries.

The nutritionist investigating the effect of HIV treatments on mothers and babies

Dec 13, 2017

When Florence Nabwire didn’t get funding for medical school, she decided to train as a nutritionist. She excelled and went on to set up a pioneering nutrition education scheme at 72 health centres in rural Uganda. Her research as a PhD student at Cambridge focuses on nutrition and HIV — especially in mothers and babies.

Report highlights opportunities and risks associated with synthetic biology and bioengineering

Dec 13, 2017

Human genome editing, 3D-printed replacement organs and artificial photosynthesis – the field of bioengineering offers great promise for tackling the major challenges that face our society. But as a new article out today highlights, these developments provide both opportunities and risks in the short and long term.

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Upcoming events

Meeting on Dynamical Coupling in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

Dec 18, 2017

The Royal Astronomical Society, London

Upcoming events

The Global Challenges Initiative is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.


Find out about open funding opportunities, pre-call announcements, responsive calls, studentships and awards relevant to the global challenges agenda.

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