The Royal Academy of Engineering has today (23 October) announced a £15 million partnership with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation to address critical challenges in engineering safety around the world. The partnership will build on the Academy’s network of global alliances to tackle the most pressing engineering safety and sustainability problems, and develop these into practical and accessible outputs for the engineering profession and affected communities.

Over five years, the partnership will allocate £15 million in funding to create communities of best practice and build global research collaborations to develop practical solutions. The partnership will initially focus on three topics: safer complex industrial and engineered systems; enhanced safety in decommissioning and end of engineering life; and developing engineering skills where they are most needed. The partnership may result in new standards, or codes of conduct, or even new approaches to engineering education, and will support programmes that have the most impact upon engineering practice globally.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“Our world increasingly relies on complex interconnected systems and our safety is at risk when localised issues result in wider, often unanticipated consequences. This global partnership seeks to make these complex systems safer. It will also help to build engineering capacity and skills to address these challenges, particularly in developing economies, and will result in improved and safer through-life design and disposal of engineering systems, from hazardous waste to ships and offshore structures.

“We hope to see engineering companies, universities, research centres and professional institutions in the UK and from around the world joining us to identify where and how the most impactful interventions can be made.”

Professor Richard Clegg FREng, Chief Executive, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, said:

“This partnership is an exciting new vehicle for high impact engineering programmes that promote engineering knowledge, innovation and skills for the benefit of society. The first programmes recognise that there are new and emerging safety challenges, which we can make a distinctive contribution towards addressing. This will be achieved via better understanding of complex engineered systems and the safer decommissioning of infrastructures, products and services. We also see that there are skills challenges that limit the capability of developing economies to select, licence and operate new critical infrastructure.

"For each programme, we believe that the Foundation’s and Royal Academy of Engineering's convening power to identify communities of practice and support collaborations will lead to interventions that are more impactful than we would be able to achieve on our own. We look forward to being joined by other partners who can work with us towards a safer and more sustainable world.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The partnership was announced today (23 October) during a keynote speech by Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, at the Institution of Civil Engineers Global Engineering Congress.

  2. The Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation partnership is a £15 million funding partnership to address critical challenges in engineering safety around the world. The partnership will initially focus on three areas: safer complex industrial and engineered systems; engineering skills where they are most needed; and end of engineered life.

    As the partnership develops it is hoped that additional funders who share the Academy’s and Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s vision of engineering a safe and sustainable future will join the network. Interested parties are encouraged to get in touch with the Academy. For more information on the partnership please visit:

  3. Lloyd’s Register Foundation: Connecting science, safety and society

    Lloyd’s Register Foundation (the Foundation) is a UK charity, established in 2012, which funds the advancement of engineering-related education and research and supports work that enhances safety of life and property. It is funded partly by the profits of its trading company, Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, a global engineering, technical and business services organisation.

    The Foundation's vision is to be known worldwide as a leading supporter of engineering-related research, training and education that makes a real difference in improving the safety of the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies. In support of this, it promotes scientific excellence and acts as a catalyst working with others to achieve maximum impact.

    The Foundation’s current strategy focuses funding on four strategic themes: promoting safety and public understanding of risk; advancing skills and education; supporting excellent scientific research; and accelerating the application of research. Four research themes have been prioritised: structural integrity and systems performance; resilience engineering; human and social factors; and emergent technologies.

  4. Royal Academy of Engineering

    As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession. 

We have three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

For more information

Siobhan Pipa at the Royal Academy of Engineering

T: 020 7766 0745

E:   Siobhan Pipa