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UK Research and Innovation Global Research Hubs

Press release issued: 14 February 2019

Scientists from the University of Bristol will be sharing their expertise as part of two new £20 million UK Research and Innovation Global Research Hubs funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The first will focus on urban disaster risk and the second aims to tackle the challenge that nitrogen pollution poses for the environment, food security, human health and the economy in South Asia.

The South Asian Nitrogen Hub, a partnership led by the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, includes around 50 organisations from across the UK and South Asia of which Bristol is one of 14 UK partners. The Hub will be awarded £19.6 million over the next five years, comprising £17.1 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and £2.5m from UK and international partners, including the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP). Contributions in-kind worth a further £7 million are being provided by partners of the UKRI GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub. Nitrogen is critically important as it is connected to air pollution, biodiversity loss, the pollution of rivers and seas, ozone depletion, health, economy and livelihoods; nitrogen pollution is caused, for example, by emissions from chemical fertilisers, livestock manure, and burning fossil fuels. Previous efforts have addressed only specific aspects of the problem, while the Hub will bring these together in a more coherent approach. The UKRI GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub will study the impacts of the different forms of pollution to form a coherent picture of the nitrogen cycle. In particular, it will look at nitrogen in agriculture in eight countries – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.

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