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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Engineering is crucial for sustainable development, and underpins 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.

The UKCDS Secretariat began to focus on engineering reacting to concerns that UK engineering 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 Engineering, then please feel free to contact Ian Thornton
UNOPS, Russell Watkins_DFID
17 June 2014
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...
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...
  • 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 –...
  • 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...
  • Engineering
19 February 2013
On 19 February 2013 UKCDS and the Royal Academy of Engineering co-hosted a roundtable for academics in engineering research for development. Chaired by UKCDS Board Member Professor John Perkins, this...