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UK Launch of the 2020 Global  Development Workshops

On the 17th February UPSIGN and partners held the UK launch of the forthcoming Global Development Workshops at the Pakistan High Commission, hosted by His Excellency, Muhammad Nafees Zakaria. 

In 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.

Professor Nicola Lowe, UKRI’s GCRF Challenge Leader for Food Systems said“Through the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund we have a fantastic opportunity to combine research and academic knowledge with in-country expertise to develop practical solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges including climate change, food insecurity and poor health. Joining with UPSIGN to develop and deliver these this workshop series opens up exciting possibilities for new collaborations between researchers and community groups from the UK and Pakistan to make a real difference to people with terrible struggles in their everyday lives.”


Professor 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 Co-founder) 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”

To see more pictures from the event, click here. 

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Notes to Editors:

  1. UPSIGN is a UK registered charity that has volunteers across UK universities and research organisations. 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's focus also seeks to create awareness and solutions to Pakistan’s Global Development Challenges. More details can be found here.

  2. UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

  3. The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) supports cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses the global issues faced by developing countries. It harnesses the expertise of the UK’s world-leading researchers, focusing on: funding challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research; strengthening capability for research, innovation and knowledge exchange; and providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research or on-the-ground need. GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund which forms part of the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and is overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through nine delivery partners:

  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) 

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