Members of the Faraday Institution and over 50 UK, Pakistani and South Asian researchers and stakeholders gathered in Islamabad, Pakistan at the first Global Development Workshop on clean and affordable energy and clean water. The workshop was organised by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) supported by Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) in partnership with the Faraday Institution and UPSIGN, a UK based network charity supporting Pakistan-UK academic cooperation; (co-founded by Prof Jawwad Darr, of UCL who is an investigator on the Degradation project). The purpose of the workshop was to create and foster new relationships and develop new consortia interested in solving clean energy and water challenges, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Members of the Faraday Institution attended, included Ian Ellerington (who gave one of the invited talks outlining the mission of the Faraday Institution and opportunities for energy storage in the developing world), Prof Emma Kendrick (University of Birmingham) and Prof Dan Brett (UCL). Other participants included researchers, policy makers and community organisations from the UK, Pakistan and South Asia. In the facilitated part of the workshop, participants worked together to identify the most pressing challenges in clean and affordable energy (and clean water) and then formed into consortia to refine their ideas to hopefully form long-lasting partnerships to help promote knowledge exchange, collaborative research and capacity building. After the workshop, the Faraday team went to Lahore for a fact-finding visit and spent time in the labs of Dr Nauman Zaffar (LUMS University) whose group is developing local off grid energy solutions. Overall, the workshops were a tremendous success with support from the highest levels of the Pakistani government.
Ian Ellerington said, “this visit to Pakistan has been a real eye-opener. We identified excellent opportunities for UK researchers to address some of the issues around reducing pollution levels in the cities due to transport and in Pakistan and Southeast Asia for grid energy storage. We were able to connect with local experts and policy-makers and it has been thoroughly worthwhile.”
Prof Dan Brett said, “coming to Pakistan has really made me understand about how we can take things for granted in the United Kingdom whilst in places like LUMS, the students are getting down to the real fundamentals of devices and improvising with what is available locally.”
Prof Emma Kendrick said, “I’m really impressed with the workshops and the organisation of them. We met new collaborators and developed some great ideas that will form excellent consortia projects.”