ENU Research, Innovation and Enterprise Blog

Global Challenge Research Fund Internal Competition Awards

Global Challenges Research FundThe Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion UK Government fund to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries through: disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research; strengthening capacity for research and innovation within both the UK and developing countries; and providing an agile response to emergencies where there is a clear research need.

In FY 2020/21 the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy allocated £13,216,359 to SFC from the GCRF. ENU received £97,699 of this funding. The University held an internal competition for pilot projects and the following five projects have been awarded:

Street Soccer PiTCH Project (India)
PiTCH is an online platform supporting street soccer programmes in developing countries. Street football engages marginalised groups, developing life skills through education and social support. The PiTCH project will produce a web-based learning platform to provide access to education and promote positive life outcomes for marginalised communities.

Dr Cedric English (PI – SAS), Dr Alex McIntyre (SAS), Dr Amanda Pitkethly (SAS), Dr Simon Powers (SOC), Dr Georgios Andronikos (SAS), Andy Hook (Street Soccer Scotland) and Abhijeet Barse (Slumsoccer India)

Antimicrobial resistance surveillance of Tamil Nadu (India) surface waters
This project seeks to strengthen existing links with the Central University of Tamil Nadu focussing on public health risks of antimicrobial resistance in surface waters. Online seminar will facilitate sharing research capacity, a pilot study investigating antimicrobial resistance in Tamil Nadu waters will provide data for a large funding application.

Dr Donald Morrison (PI – SAS), Dr Aimeric Blaud (SAS), Professor P. Rajaguru (Central University of Tamil Nadu) and Dr Indranil Chattopadhyay (Central University of Tamil Nadu)

Development of Concentrator for Solar Dryer Application (Rwanda)
A social enterprise, NjordFrey (www.njordfrey.com), Edinburgh Napier University and Universiti Technologi Malaysiaare are working together to produce a novel solar dryer to complement the company’s self-sustainable aquaponic starter kit solution for smallholder farmers in Rwanda. This project aims at designing and characterising an optical concentrator to be integrated in the solar dryer.

Dr Firdaus Muhammad Sukki (PI – SEBE), Dr Chan Hwang See (SEBE), Dr Pablo Jaen Sola (SEBE), Dr Mohd Nabil Muhtazaruddin (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) and Dr Nurul Aini Bani (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia)

Cathelicidin-Derived Host Defence Peptides as novel therapeutic antivirals for Zika virus (Indonesia)
The mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) is able to infect pregnant women and cause devastating congenital malformations in newborns. Currently there are no vaccines or effective therapies available for the prevention or treatment of ZIKV infection. We propose that small molecules, known as cathelicidins, which are part of our immune system and have potent antimicrobial properties could be modified and exploited to fight ZIKV infection.

Dr Filipa Henderson Sousa (PI – SAS), Dr Craig Stevens (SAS), Professor Peter Barlow (SAS), Amalina Ghaisani Komarudin (Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology) and Tedjo Sasmono (Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology)

Determining infectious disease exposure of people in North Cameroon
In sub-Saharan Africa febrile illness is a major cause of illness and death. However, causes of fever often remain undiagnosed, due in part to a lack of information on circulating infections. Screening for antibodies against 200 infections, this project will identify evidence of infection in hospitalised people within Northern Cameroon.

Dr Nick Wheelhouse (PI – SAS), Dr Stathis Tingas (SEBE), Dr Paul Naughton (TBS), Professor Mark Bronsvoort (Roslin Institute), Emikpe Benjamin (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology), Dennis Palmer (Loma Linda University School of Medicine) and Pandam Salifu (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology).