Institutional Actors


Newton Institutional Links is part of the Newton Fund. This is part of the UK’s official development assistance programme. Newton Institutional Links provides grants for the development of research and innovation collaborations between the UK and partner countries. The research facilitated by these grants tackles local development needs and challenges such as extreme weather conditions, access to affordable health care, food and energy security.

The grants are intended to provide small-scale seed funding to: start and develop collaborations between academic groups, departments and institutions in partner countries and the UK support the exchange of expertise and research knowledge establish local hubs for UK-partner country activities.

The Newton Fund grants are intended to support areas relevant to the economic development and welfare of partner countries. For the purpose of the Newton Institutional Links Programme, it defines research and innovation with development relevance as activities that have the potential to contribute to the economic development and social welfare of the Newton Fund countries, benefitting poor and vulnerable populations in these countries and beyond. Multidisciplinary proposals and proposals in Arts and Humanities and Social Science disciplines are welcome.



The British Council was founded to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. They call this work cultural relations.

The British Council works in over 100 countries, connecting millions of people with the United Kingdom through programmes and services in the English language, the Arts, Education and Society. They believe these are the most effective means of engaging with others and have been doing this work since 1934.

Their work in English aims to bring high quality language materials to every learner and teacher who wants them. In developing and post-conflict countries they teach English and train teachers through radio, web and TV broadcasts. They also offer over three million UK examinations worldwide, helping people gain access to trusted qualifications to support their career and study prospects.

In the fields of Education and Society their work helps transform national education systems, builds more inclusive and open societies and increases young people’s opportunities.

They encourage international students to come and study in the UK, and British students to experience life abroad. They bring schools around the world together so young people and teachers from different countries can share with and learn from each other.

Their work in the Arts involves the very best British and international artistic talent. They help increase audiences for international work in the UK and for UK work globally, and they bring artists together and support the development of skills and policy in the arts and creative industries.

Through this work they ensure that culture in its broadest sense plays a vital role in connecting with and understanding each other. In these ways, the British Council builds links between UK people and institutions and those around the world, helping to create trust and lay foundations for prosperity and security around the world.


Future Cities Catapult accelerates urban ideas to market, to grow the economy and make cities better. They bring together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face.

From their Urban Innovation Centre in London, they provide world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.

Future Cities Catapult helps innovators turn ingenious ideas into working prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. Then, once they’re proven, Future Cities Catapult helps spread them to cities across the world to improve quality of life, strengthen economies and protect the environment.

Their Cities Lab provides data analysis, modelling and visualisation capabilities to understand and elucidate city problems, while on-the-ground demonstrators in their network of collaborating cities provide opportunities for testing new approaches in-situ. Combined, they help them discover which new ideas can have the biggest impact on the urban environments.

By bringing together the UK’s top architects, engineers, designers, academics and business professionals, Future Cities Catapult can help transform cities on a global scale. They strengthen the UK’s ability to turn excellent urban innovations into commercial reality.


Superflux is a design, research and foresight company producing critically acclaimed work at the intersection of emerging technologies and culture.

Founded by Anab Jain and Jon Ardern in 2009, the Studio’s early work brought experimental design approaches to new audiences, working for some of the world’s biggest companies like Microsoft Research, Sony and Nokia, and exhibiting work at MoMA New York, the National Museum of China and the V&A London.

Over the years, Superflux’s work has been recognised by clients, partners and commissioners—allowing the Studio expand its work into new territories of strategic and design-led futures, culture and context-sensitive design for emerging technologies and special projects for breakthrough innovation. The Studio’s partners and clients continue to grow, and include Government of UAE, Innovate UK, Future Cities Catapult, Samsung, BBC and Forum for the Future.

The Studio also has a dedicated research lab within its design practice, developing ambitious projects around future quantum computing, synthetic biology, civilian drones and the Indian Mars Mission. Most recently the Studio incubated IoTA, a civic organisation enabling people to use their data as evidence for change.


The Royal College of Art (RCA) is a wholly postgraduate art and design school, founded in 1837 and based over two sites in central London. The RCA is known for its design and art research and technological innovation, and achieved first place in the QS World University Rankings for Art & Design in 2015 and 2016, based on academic and employer reputation. The RCA aims to advance the understanding of the influence and scope of creativity and contribute to benefiting society.

Key to this is the ability to apply theories and methodologies to real-world issues, translate research findings into practice and work directly with academic, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Within the RCA, research staff and students from two departments worked on the Legible Policy project. Innovation Design Engineering, in the School of Design, covers a range of domains, from the social through to the industrial, focusing on research in design thinking, design practice and experimentation, and the application of new design methods within the expansive remit of innovation. Research is targeted towards inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary practice.

In the School of Communication, Information Experience Design focuses on transforming information into experiences, through encompassing data visualisation and narrative, installations and exhibitions, research and investigative design. IED has quickly gained a global reputation for innovative research and experimental, critical practice that challenges information presentation norms while maintaining and encouraging a high degree of creativity.


The Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) is an institution that fosters, coordinates and articulates national scientific and technological activities in order to promote the development of basic science, expanding the borders of knowledge and linking it with the formation of human resources and enhancement of education in science and technology. In addition, CONACYT promotes the development and strengthening of applied research that attends society’s most pressing needs, widening the perspectives of the productive sector and, as a result, making it possible to raise quality of life for Mexico’s population.

CONACYT’s funds, distributed via grants and financing, go to activities directly linked to the development of scientific and technological research; fellowships and the formation of specialized human resources; the implementation of specific projects involving scientific research, modernization, innovation and technological development projects, the dissemination of science and technology; the creation, development of consolidation of research groups or centers. Economic stimuli and recognitions are also given to researchers and technologists following evaluation of their activities and results.


The Instituto de Investigaciones en Matemáticas Aplicadas y en Sistemas (Institute for Research in Applied Mathematics and Systems, IIMAS) is part of the Subsystem for Scientific Research of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). The Institute’s mission is to create, develop and foster original scientific research in the disciplines of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Systems.

IIMAS works to guarantee the continued existence of research groups in Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, and Systems, ensuring that the study of these disciplines is kept up-to-date, and thus contributing to scientific knowledge of universal value. In addition, we aim to provide both the university community and the society at large the means to access such knowledge.

Objectives: • Carry out original research in Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering and Systems. • Participate in the following graduate programs: Mathematical Sciences; Computer Science and Engineering; Earth Sciences; and Engineering. Participate in the undergraduate programs in both the Science Department and the Engineering Department, among others. • Train high-level human resources through research projects. • Disseminate scientific knowledge.

Functions: • Research the areas studied at the Institute. • Train human resources in research and teaching in higher education through the provision of courses, tutoring and direction of theses. • Organize and participate in seminars, conferences, congresses and symposia and other academic events, both nationally and internationally. • Develop outreach activities through collaborations with academic units and related national and international institutions, and with the industrial sector. • Disseminate the results of research and technological developments produced by the Institute.



The Laboratorio para la Ciudad (Laboratory for the City) is Mexico City’s new experimental office for civic innovation and urban creativity, the first city government department of its kind in Latin America. Laboratorio para la Ciudad is a space for rethinking, reimagining, and reinventing the way citizens and government can work together towards a more open, more livable and more imaginative city. The world is becoming more urban by the minute: In 2030, six out of ten people on Earth will be city dwellers. This great urban shift—particularly in emerging countries such as Mexico—will bring radical environmental, technological, social and cultural transformations that affect our everyday lives and demand innovative responses. Does government have what it takes to assume a deeper role in shaping the way we deal with change? In many cases, city governments and other traditional institutions dealing with urban issues could be better equipped to deal with the challenges or seize the opportunities of this foreseeable future. The Laboratorio para la Ciudad believes that the growing disconnect between citizens and government, sometimes broadened by one-way conversations and lack of trust, can be addressed and actually reverted by reimagining roles and repurposing traditional mechanisms of engagement.

How can cities and citizens reconnect through government itself? This is the question that drives the Lab’s work, and they approach it not only as a matter of delivering better services or offering new channels for engagement, but truly reimagining the role of government and how it can contribute to building better cities. What if government went beyond administration, promoting innovation, and even possibly channeling imagination? What if government was not just a regulator, but a true catalyzer for change?

The Lab is a new breed of government office, the first of its kind in Latin America. A few weeks after being elected, Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera approached director Gabriella Gómez-Mont to create an experimental area within the new city government that could reimagine the way government and civil society could collaborate, by implementing public policy and projects that promote citizen ingenuity and talent. The outcome was Laboratorio para la Ciudad.

The Lab is conformed by a young, multidisciplinary team, mostly without prior government experience. It’s an unusual bunch: architects, technologists, editors, art historians, political scientists, journalists, urban planners, filmmakers, sociologists, designers, urban psychologists… But one shared characteristic is impatient optimism, a passion for the city, and the belief that positive change can be born within government. The other unifying element is collaboration: The team constantly seeks new proposals and provocations around the problems and opportunities of the city through collaborative efforts, both within government and through civil society.



The work of Unidad de Protocolos is focused on the implications of the use of digital technologies in different stages of the design process, from conceptualisation to fabrication, emphasising the analysis of the theoretical and philosophical consequences of this new paradigm and its interrelation with the matter. This has been driven by the constant will to explore and apply the principles of emergence to both the structure of thought and design and research processes.

The dynamics of the unit are always shifting between an adaptable plug-in office, an external consultancy agency and an experimental art and design studio, enabling collaborations with architects, fashion and industrial designers and artists.

Drifting into computational design and as a direct consequence having gained knowledge around parametric modeling tools, evolutionary strategies and generative processes within and without the digital tool, we have consequently grown interested in the notions of analogue programming and material systems.

Our design approach explores the concept of intuition as an informed element of the code. By integrating the human body as both machine and part of the code which interacts and arranges a component system following a determined set of rules, the system takes intuition as a pre-loaded knowledge set that drives certain decisions, testing a physical file-to-factory approach in hand-built construction systems.



Buró—Buró is an interdisciplinary office that works on strategies and projects addressing contemporary problematics through an approach that focuses on culture, art and work with specific communities, for both internal projects and the projects of institutions, organisations, museums and foundations. Buró—Buró, also a publishing platform, participated in the editorial development and design of The Pursuit of Legible Policy.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 4.38.16 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 4.38.48 PM