USAID Launches New Network to Engage Students and Universities in Solving International Development Challenges

Press contacts:

Ben Edwards, USAID,

Kate Herbst, Group SJR,

Valerie Berger, Group SJR,


Seven Top U.S. and Foreign Universities

Join Forces with USAIDto Create Development Labs

and DiscoverDevelopmentSolutions


WASHINGTON D.C. (November 9, 2012) ├ö├ç├ÂThe U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announces today the launch of its Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN)├ö├ç├Âa new groundbreaking partnership with seven top American and foreign universities designed to develop innovativesolutions toglobal developmentchallenges.


USAID is renewing its dedication to supporting the use of Science and Technology to address global development challenges, and these partnerships will leverage the intellectual power and passion of academic leaders, faculty, and students. USAID is proud to partner with these institutions and their students, faculty and staff ÔÇô together we can lead the global development community by creating more results-driven, effective, efficient, cost effective and accessible development solutions.


The network represents a new era of development by tapping research institutions and students to catalyze global action, supporting the culture of entrepreneurship,and fostering multifaceted approaches to developmentThrough the Network, these partnerships will engage a next generation of development professionals while guiding USAID├ö├ç├ûs programs. 


Each university will establish Development Labs that will work with USAIDÔÇÖs field mission experts and Washington staff to apply science and technology to define and solve key problems in areas such as global health, food security and chronic conflict. To establish these labs, USAID is awarding each lead institution between $6-$25 million for a network total of up to $130 million over the course of the five year partnership. These Development Labs will initiate a global network to engage not only academics and students, but alsoa broader communityaround the world. As of today, in addition to the seven lead universities, the network consists of 22 additional funded, and 76 non funded partners in the U.S. and overseas. For every $10 of USAID funding, the universities and their partners contributed an additional $6.60 toward the network.But these seven Development Labs are just the beginning. The network will become a powerful, sustainable development network capable of overcoming barriers, bridging critical gaps, and leveragingthe ability of higher education institutions tooperate effectively in a rapidly changing world. The Development Labs will establish technology hubs and knowledge centers across all geographic regions to advance global research and development. With hundreds of thousands of U.S. and international faculty and students engaged, the Development Labs will work to fully understand challenges to development, test new technologies, apply revolutionary solutions to global development problems and scale up these new technologies.


├ö├ç┬úThe Higher Education Solutions Network is the latest step in USAID's efforts to harness the best ideas from the academic and scientific community and young people worldwide to foster transformational progress in development,├ö├ç├ÿ explained USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. ├ö├ç┬úThrough this network of Development Labs, we will recapture the legacy of science, technology, and innovation as core drivers of development- as well as inspire and support the next generation of development leaders.├ö├ç├ÿ


Whether building local resilience to development challenges, transforming economic and political systems, or inventing ways to improve quality of life, the HESN network will do development differently.




Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the American people have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. For more information about USAIDÔÇÖs programs, please visit:


├ö├ç┬úBy collaborating with top universities around the world, we hope to tap today├ö├ç├ûs brightest minds and focus ingenuity on global development challenges,├ö├ç├ÿ explained USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.  ├ö├ç┬úWith the right ideas, we can reduce extreme poverty by more than 60 percent ├ö├ç├┤ lifting more than 700 million people back from the abyss of hunger and malnutrition ├ö├ç├┤ in just one generation.