Innovating for UN Sustainable Development Goals

Project: Innovating for Sustainable Development – Thinking Beyond Your PhD

Overview: This new NERC initiative is being led by the IEA, Scenario and SSCP to train PhD students to develop awareness of the commercial applications of their studies, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Purpose: The Innovating for Sustainable Development programme brings together SSCP, SCENARIO and London DTP students with start-ups, NGOs, policy makers and business to seek solutions towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. A combination of residential courses, workshops, seminars and networking events will introduce participants to experts in the sustainable development field. Students will get the opportunity to work with business coaches and take the first steps in developing their ideas into innovations that are commercially viable. The elements are:

Interdisciplinary Challenges – a two-day residential workshop introducing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective and moving towards effective solutions for society.

Case Study Series, December 2016 to March 2017 – 3 half-day events introducing post graduate students to an exciting cross-section of professionals including policymakers, representatives of NGOs, industry, government agencies and social enterprise who are finding solutions to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Ideation Workshop, February 2017 – exploring the business of science with industry and business experts, access to business coaches aimed at ‘finding your inner entrepreneur’ and turning ideas into action.

The Melting Pot, March 2017 – a high-profile networking event featuring leaders from all aspects of the environmental profession, an opportunity to discuss internships and employment opportunities.

IEA Role: IEA Training and Development Manager Vicky Lucas and Climate Programme Manager Dr Maria Noguer will be devising the training programme.

Timeline: November 2016 – March 2017

Partners: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, NERC, Imperial College, London

Links: If you are a NERC-funded student and want to find out more, please email Claire Morris on