We launched our first Global Challenge campaign (which we then called an ‘open call for research’)  in the spring of 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. With this campaign, we focused our resources on reaching out to all the universities and academics in our extended global network to share any new research at their institute which was naming to address Covid-19 so we could match it with industry partners for expedited deployment.

Building on the success of starting over a hundred new conversations between academia and industry around the development of solutions, treatments and vaccine platforms for Covid-19, we have since run two more campaigns – a second on Covid-19, and a third working to address the plastic pollution crisis. We now turn our attention to water pollution.  

What is a Global Challenge campaign?

The vision for our Global Challenge campaigns is to drive innovation and collaboration in areas identified by industry that align with sustainable development and growth. They present the opportunity for academic researchers and technology transfer offices to have their projects, inventions or breakthroughs relating to a current global challenge proactively disseminated to industry with the aim of starting new conversations that lead to the commercialisation and deployment of new solutions.

The Global Challenges campaigns build on the work we’ve done since 2014 to simplify the connection between teams in academia and industry. We leverage the technology of our core matchmaking platform, Connect, and the experiences we’ve gained through our Discover platform in finding solutions for companies to specific industrial requirements, as well as the in-house STEM expertise in our team and the engagement from our global academia-industry community, to focus and drive collaboration in a challenge area of benefit to society and the environment. 

We also run an online event programme associated with the campaign to provide a forum for the academia-industry community to connect around the topic. And after the campaign closes, we publish a white paper summarising engagement trends within the research area (view our sustainable plastics R&D trends white paper here).


What are our main objectives?

Our aim is to surface the latest academic research, technologies, and expertise addressing global water pollution that are available and seeking industry collaboration, with the view to start new conversations and partnerships that lead to further development and commercialisation.

We are aiming to provide a clear pathway for the commercialisation of water pollution related research with industry to help start meaningful conversations and partnerships that can lead to collaborative development and the deployment of new interventions and solutions to new and legacy water pollution.


How does a Global Challenges campaign work?

Each Global Challenge campaign runs over a six week period, during which we gather submissions from the academic community. During this period and after, our teams focus on making sure R&D teams with aligned interests are sent relevant projects to review and engage with. When a project fits with a company’s technical requirements, our team then sets up the initial introduction so that a conversation can proceed about collaboration. 

We invite our academic and research commercialisation community to submit a short digest of any research, technologies and innovation addressing the issue under focus, for example, major global health challenges or environmental problems. We post each submission on our matchmaking platform and disseminate them to relevant individuals in our network of global R&D professionals, build repositories of the technologies, and create content and papers with our analysis of the engagement trends.


Why are we focusing on water pollution?

As a company with a strong background in scientific research, we are very aware of humanity’s impact on the environment and the scale of the environmental challenges that lie ahead of us.

In 2021, we reached out to our community of industry R&D decision-makers to ask them what they thought the most important challenges are for their sector. There was a wide range of responses, including various health and geopolitical challenges, but the top challenges identified were overwhelmingly in the areas of sustainability, energy resources, and climate change. 

Building on this, our 2022 annual survey confirmed that these are still the main priorities for industry. We also heard specific demands from sectors in the physical science and engineering space for solutions to water pollution and wastewater treatment, which is the basis for our current campaign. 

Water is essential for life; it is fundamental to our industry, economy and environment. The use of water is embedded in industrial processes, there are practically no industries that do not rely on water in their value chain. However, across the globe, pollutants from past and present industrial processes and urban waste are still worryingly prevalent, with negative impacts on humans, wildlife, and the environment. 

And so with our current Global Challenges campaign, we are aiming to surface new research and academic innovations that will enable the detection of emerging or legacy pollutants in waterways to ensure safer and cleaner water supplies. We are also looking to uncover technologies to improve wastewater management, as well as water purification methods, including for drinking water. 


If you have any unanswered questions or want to learn more about engaging with the campaign, send our team a message (submissions@in-part.co.uk) and we’ll get back to you promptly.


Written by Frances Wilkinson. Edited by Alex Stockham.

Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2022: ‘IN-PART Global Challenges Campaign FAQs’

About IN-PART:

We believe brilliant connections can solve real-world problems. We match research pioneers from academia with decision-makers in industry sectors striving for a greater positive impact.

Our goal is to enable connections from around the world to match academic research with industry on a level playing field. Through our intelligent, matchmaking platform we showcase leading university innovations and connect academics with an international community of decision-makers in industry, creating meaningful dialogue and partnership.


Connect, a digital partnering platform for university-industry collaboration.

250+ universities and research institutes around the world currently showcase their research and innovation on IN-PART to find new collaboration partners in industry. R&D teams get free access to the platform (create an account here). There are no hidden costs and we don’t claim downstream success fees.


Discover, a bespoke scouting service for open innovation.

With the aim of solving a technical requirement or challenge, Discover enables R&D teams to identify new opportunities for commercialisation or to solicit proposals for new research from our extended academic network, which has confirmed touchpoints in 1,500+ universities and institutes worldwide.

Interested in speaking with our Discover team? Request a demo |  TTO or academic? Sign-up for weekly Discover emails.


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GLOBAL CHALLENGE SURVEY Which global health or disease challenge should we address next?