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Research into climate change adaptation and mitigation receives $92m

The National Research Foundation (NRF) has welcomed the announcement of a $92m investment into the International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation.

The Canada Research Coordinating Committee, which leads this global joint initiative that funds interdisciplinary and trans-sectoral research on key risks of climate change, announced in Ottawa, Canada, on Monday, 3 June 2024.

The Canada Research Coordinating Committee is part of a consortium of research funders with which the NRF is working under the International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation.

The other research funders are from Brazil, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“In its role as a participating research funder in the initiative, the NRF funds four South African research projects,” the NRF explained.

Two other local projects under the initiative are funded by the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), which supports world-leading interdisciplinary, international, high-risk/high-reward, transformative and rapid-response Canadian-led research.

The local research projects are part of the international joint initiative’s 32 international interdisciplinary research projects, involving 424 researchers from 45 countries.

These three-year projects focus on the design and implementation of adaptation and mitigation strategies for vulnerable groups.

These groups are currently the most impacted by climate change effects, due to their physical and socio-economic vulnerability.

The research funders contributed a total of more than $30 million in additional funds to the research projects.

NRF CEO, Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, said the financial boost to the International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation comes at an opportune time.

“Research projects under the initiative are starting to take shape. These include those that are funded by the NRF, which has made significant investments in the initiative. The funding will propel these research projects to greater heights.”

In addition to the investment, the Canada Research Coordinating Committee also announced the NFRF Exploration Competition grantees.

Each year, the NFRF Exploration Competition supports research that brings various disciplines together in new ways and from bold, innovative perspectives.

Exploration grants support research with a range of impacts — economic, scientific, artistic, cultural, social, technological, environmental or health-related.

This year, $33m was awarded to 133 research projects that focus on topics such as the exploration of the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere and the cosmos from a high-arctic perspective, transforming artificial intelligence (AI) software concepts into smart mechanical systems, and using liquid biopsies to better detect breast cancer.

The International Joint Initiative for Research in Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation requires that projects address at least two of the eight representative key risks identified in the sixth assessment report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report highlights the unprecedented changes in the climate that are being observed in every region, affecting all ecosystems and societies, and that will continue to intensify with further warming.

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