The 1st Global Grand Challenges Summit

Post Meeting
January 25, 2019 AT 02:36 PM
London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Main Contact
Brandon Green
  • Communications / Media Associate
    National Academy of Engineering
    Office 202.334.2226

In March 2013, over 450 leading engineers, artists, economists, designers, philosophers, scientists, politicians, industry leaders, educators and policy makers from across the globe gathered in London to attend the inaugural Global Grand Challenges Summit.

With the prosperity of future generations relying on unprecedented levels of inter-disciplinary and international cooperation in pursuit of solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, the Summit, organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering in partnership with the national engineering academies of the US and China, sought to provide a new global platform for the world’s leading thinkers to share their ideas with the next generation of engineers on how to develop the international frameworks, tools and collaborations needed to solve our common global challenges.

The audience of the two-day event heard from panels of leading experts in six different sessions covering the themes of sustainability, health, education, enriching life, technology and growth and resilience. The Summit also included plenary addresses from Dr Craig Venter, Founder of J. Craig Venter institute and Bill Gates, Co-founder and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and an additional surprise address from on the need for new approaches to STEM education.

- See more here.

Two major new international collaborative research opportunities, dedicated to the pursuit of tackling global grand challenges, were also announced at the Summit. Representatives from eight top US universities, including Duke University, USC and MIT, announced the establishment of the new Vest scholarship program. The program, named after outgoing National Academy of Engineering (NAE) President Charles M. Vest, will give select international graduate students the opportunity to pursue potentially world-changing ideas at top US universities.

Sir John Parker, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, also announced in his closing remarks a new £1-2 million joint international call from the EPSRC and the NSF, for proposals from UK and US research teams to work on tackling the grand challenge of providing clean water for all.

Summit Photos
  • Global Grand Challenges Summit 2013: Plenary address from Bill Gates
  • Global Grand Challenges Summit 2013: Microsoft Research student day
  • Global Grand Challenges Summit 2013: Short film competition presentation
  • Global Grand Challenges Summit 2013: Sustainability
  • Global Grand Challenges Summit 2013: Health
  • Welcome