Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171


modified sectors


A number of Grand Challenges have been identified across many disciplines that affect our society, environment, economy and culture. At present there are activities focused on finding a breakthrough in the following sectors:

Carbon Capture and Storage. This research is being conducted in both UK and around the world. Carbon capture enables coal and gas to continue to provide support for electricity generation along with nuclear energy.  

Biotechnology. The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology has identified three Grand Challenges in the areas of 1- Industrial Biotechnology, 2- Biomedical and 3-Healthcare and Biofuels. The activities in these areas are about using expertise knowledge in biotechnology to support research in a range of industrial sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and energy.

The RCUK has identified six grand challenges and it is coordinating research in the following areas:

Digital Economy. Transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural, experiences future society, and the economy. Contribution digital economies can make to enhance key services; generating business opportunities boost quality of life and promote economic, social and environmental sustainability of rural areas across the UK.

Global Food Security. The UK’s main public funders of food-related research are working together through this programme to meet the challenge of providing the world’s growing population with a sustainable, secure supply of nutritious food from less land and using fewer inputs.

Global Uncertainties – Security.  Trans-national global crime such as drugs, people smuggling, money laundering and cyber crime, is increasing in sophistication and scale as criminals exploit today’s open and globalised world. Research Councils UK work together to address five inter-related global threats to security - Poverty, Conflict, Transnational Crime, Environmental Stress and Terrorism. 

Living with Environmental Change. Human activities are accelerating environmental change and increasing pressure on ecosystems and services. H.M. Treasury has identified this issue as a key challenge for the UK.  Research councils in UK have designed a programme across the relevant research areas and industrial sectors.

Energy Programme.  To achieve an affordable low carbon energy system while conserving natural resources, the environment and quality of life. Programme by the RCUK to meet energy and environmental targets for UK.

Lifelong Health and Well Being in UK. Current demographic change in the UK is changing with the proportion of young people declining whilst that of older people is increasing. The Medical Research Council and RCUK have formed a major initiative to meet the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population.