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UK Launch of 2020 Workshops

at Pakistan High Commission

UPSIGN Network and UKRI Join Forces to Organise Three Global Development Workshops in Islamabad (March 2020)


 (UK Pakistan Science Innovation Global Network (UPSIGN) has partnered with UK research & Innovation (UKRI) to organise three development workshops in Pakistan on 9 -12th March 2020. Over 140 academics from the UK, Pakistan and the region will travel to Islamabad to take part in the workshops that aim to address grand challenges linked to sustainable development in Food Systems, Energy/water and Health sectors in Pakistan and the region. The activities will create and foster new relationships and develop new networks interested in solving development issues, aligned with the UN sustainable development goals.

The first workshop (9th - 10th March 2020) will focus on the issues related to food security, sustainable food production, strategic planning to maximize dietary diversity and quality, issues to tackle the spread of diseases from livestock to humans (Zoonotic Disease), issue of antibiotics use.

· The second workshop (10th - 11th March 2020) will focus on health, gender and Mental Health and reproductive health, issues experienced by children and adolescents and their impact in mental health. The workshop will also focus on biomaterials and regenerative medicine for developing low-cost healthcare solutions for the management of wounds and injuries.

· The third workshop (11th- 12th Mar 2020) aims to focus on renewable energy planning, new technologies in the water and energy sector and the education and policy-making surrounding these initiatives.

The UKRI Lead Prof Nicola Lowe said, “UKRI is excited to work in Pakistan to address challenges aligned to the UNSDGs (UNSDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), indeed, UKRI has allocated a total of £1.5b for research in partnership with low and middle-income countries to address such challenges through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).” UKRI is investing up to £200k (Pak Rs 40 million) on these workshops alone.

Prof Jawwad Darr, Chairman of UPSIGN Network said “I’m very proud of the UPSIGN team’s efforts to volunteer their time and proactively facilitate British and other scientists to partner with each other for mutual benefit of the UK, Pakistan and the SE Asia Region”

Dr Khalid Mahmood (UPSIGN Cofounder) said “this is an exciting time where top universities and research institutes are taking part in the workshops. This includes researchers from more than 20 UK universities and research Institutes.”

His Excellency, Muhammad Nafees Zakaria said “we are delighted to host UPSIGN members and UKRI and British academics at the UK launch of the Global Development Workshops.” He lauded the efforts of UKRI and UPSIGN for this marvellous and timely initiative; “Pakistan has a long history of working in partnership with its UK diaspora, so it’s fantastic to see British Pakistani professionals creating initiatives like this that have the potential to be impactful and sustainable for the mutual benefit of both nations”


Notes to Editors:

2. UPSIGN is a UK registered charity that has volunteers across UK universities and research organizations. In Pakistan, the charity is trying to coordinate efforts of the British Pakistani diaspora and friends of Pakistan to collectively work towards a sustainable future for Pakistanis. The network focus also seeks to create awareness and solutions to Pakistan’s Global Development Challenges. More details on its website 3. UKRI is a UK Research and Innovation ( arm of the UK government department delivering science and innovation to address societal challenges. It is running the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) worth £1.5B focussing on UNSDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals).

4. The workshops are also supported by a number of universities in the UK and Pakistan, the Faraday Institute, The British Council, Pakistan High Commission London, The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Comsats University Islamabad and Common Purpose, UK

5. UNSDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) see link

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