Making science work for development

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is essential if basic human needs are to be met without compromising global resources and the quality of life for future generations.

UKCDS member organisations fund research that addresses the underpinning requirements of sustainable development, from predicting climate change and protecting natural resources for food and water security to developing low carbon energy.

The UKCDS Secretariat works with UK funders to share information, showcase their work and facilitate multidisciplinary approaches to address the complex challenges of sustainable development.

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Energy and engineering

Energy and engineering are crucial for sustainable development, and underpin a significant part of UK aid, whether it is building new primary schools in Pakistan or generating renewable energy in Nepal.  Academic research can provide new knowledge to improve the way we do all of these things. This can enhance the UK contribution to sustainable development, and the knowledge can also be used by others, from rural farmers to the World Bank or Shell, to improve how they tackle shared challenges.

DFID are likely to spend £110-120m on engineering research between 2013 and 2019 to enhance the UK’s poverty alleviation efforts and other UKCDS Members also fund engineering research relevant to international development. A number of UKCDS member organisations (primarily DFID, EPSRC, DECC and ESRC) fund research relevant to energy and development, often refining new technologies or studying why people make the energy choices they do.

The UKCDS Secretariat began to focus on this area after reacting to concerns that UK research may not be having the maximum possible impact in development: funders are not as joined up as they are in other fields, and pathways to policy and practice are not as clear as they could be.

If you have any questions about Energy and engineering, then please feel free to contact Ian Thornton
12 March 2015
Since the May 2014 workshop, two UKCDS staff have been working closely with the DFID Growth and Climate, Energy and Water research teams to broker relationships with other funders around potential...
28 May 2014
As described in the last engineering update, the UKCDS Secretariat has been working with DFID to map the engineering for development research base. This mapping analysed who was winning competitive...
UNOPS, Russell Watkins_DFID
17 June 2014
On 29 May, UKCDS partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering to host a roundtable for UK funders and research leaders to discuss the future opportunities in engineering research for international...
9 April 2014
Infrastructure is recognised as a key driver of economic growth and, especially in Africa,  improved regional integration. Yet infrastructure for sustainable development suffers from a poor...
  • Energy and engineering
18 March 2014
In 2013, the UKCDS Secretariat and the Royal Academy of Engineering commissioned a mapping of the UK research base in engineering for international development (see this update). The 2013 mapping –...
  • Energy and engineering
24 July 2013
In 2012, the UKCDS Secretariat convened a cross-Government group to explore whether UK engineering research is playing its full potential in enhancing the UK contribution to international development...
  • Energy and engineering
2 April 2013
DFID, DECC and EPSRC decided to jointly fund research on energy and international development, recognising an opportunity to fund excellent research that met shared knowledge needs. The Secretariat...
  • Energy and engineering