SUNRISE Scoops THE International Collaboration Award

Image shows solar panels

A UK Research and Innovation funded initiative to expand access to electricity in rural India using solar technology has won the International Collaboration of the Year award at the annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

SUNRISE, which is supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund, has united leading solar research teams from the UK and India, Mexico, Kazakhstan and South Africa.

The network is led by Swansea University. It initially focused on engineering and physical science but expanded to include social science academics to engage more effectively with local communities.

The award recognises the network for developing solar energy for a village school. But while the technology and research outputs are significant, the network also prioritises the careers and skills of the people and institutions within the network. This will produce further advancements in sustainable tech across the globe and ensure the network’s legacy lasts beyond the lifetime of a single project.

The judges described the SUNRISE network as “an outstanding and innovative collaboration. Involving engineering, the physical sciences, art, drama and social policy, it is having a significant impact on capacity development, skills and innovation and is creating new ways of installing affordable and sustainable electricity.”

Dr Adrian Walters, SUNRISE Programme Director said:

“The Times Higher Education Awards are the first awards that we have entered as a project, so to have been recognised as International Collaboration of the Year is especially rewarding.

“We’ve come a long way in just two years and have built a dedicated and cohesive network across the globe. The strength of these collaborations will mean we are ready to face the challenges ahead as we dive into the next phase of our project to bring about solar power for all.”

To find out more about SUNRISE visit