Ghost fishing net upcycling; Biodegradable cling film made from gin; Steering wheels which monitor your health; An Alexa with a heart; Biodegradable raincoats made from corn husk waste; Wearable photosynthetic skin to harvest light energy and a Wireless device to help parents bond with premature babies…
Today sees the unveiling of 150 ideas from over 70 countries that could change the way we live forever
- Global Grad Show, world’s most diverse gathering of graduate ideas for social impact, unveils 150 new projects
- 464 universities, 70 countries and 2,600 project entries, make 7th Global Grad Show the biggest to date
- Ideas focus on themes including health tech, developing more sustainable food practices, creating smarter homes, developing solutions to improve our own physical and mental health, and enabling and empowering new communities to thrive
- Entries received from institutions such as MIT, Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford, as well as local colleges in developing markets with six new countries submitting innovations this year, including Bhutan, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Congo and Brunei
- 70% rise in the number of universities participating, with a 50% increase in the number of applications received in 2021
- Breadth of disciplines and technologies spotlights complexity of social and environmental challenges - and academia’s critical role in solving them
From Bhutan to Ethiopia, Vietnam to the Congo and China to the UK, the students making up this year’s Global Grad Show 150 are its most diverse to date, with over 2,600 applications being received from 70 countries across the world.
This year’s seventh edition is the most impactful to date, with Global Grad Show, an initiative that showcases the world’s most promising talent by providing a platform for graduates to put forward their social impact ideas to change the world, reporting that it has received entries from 464 universities. This represents a 70% increase in the number of universities participating and a 50% increase in the number of applications received in 2021.
Despite challenges faced by higher education institutions and students over the past year, Global Grad Show’s growth evidences rising concern about social and environmental issues among global academic talent.
The first Global Grad Show to take place since the world starts to emerge from the pandemic, sees several themes surface from the graduates’ ideas, which point to the collective concerns of the next generation. These include a significant focus on ‘health tech’, with many ideas put forward to bypass traditional healthcare systems, putting greater ownership in the hands of individuals. Ideas include a malnutrition monitor and an immunization calendar, alongside a broader range of innovations in the sector – such as a wireless device to help parents bond with premature babies and an exoskeleton hand for stroke rehabilitation. Other ideas also concentrate on ‘mental health’ concerns, outlining the varying ways in which new technologies can assist in early diagnosis, remote monitoring and personalised treatment.
In addition, this year’s entries point to a major focus on developing more sustainable food practices, smarter homes, solutions to improve our own physical and mental health and wellbeing and enabling and empowering new communities to thrive.
The 150 featured submissions, which will be showcased in a virtual and interactive year-long exhibition launching today, are the result of rigorous academic research by graduates and their professors in areas of deepest concern for future generations. These include:
- Turning ‘ghost finishing nets’ that make up 48% of ocean plastic (the deadliest form of marine debris) into public seating spaces; University of Karachi, Pakistan
- Using compacted bullets of clay as building blocks for construction; Institute of Advanced Architecture Catalonia, Spain
- A lower-body exoskeleton rehabilitation system for children with cerebral palsy, Pratt Institute, United States
- A high tech toy that teaches children with autism primary emotions so they can communicate better; San Francisco State University; United States
- An autonomous robot that lives in the desert to help plant and cultivate seeds; Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation
- An upper limb prosthetic that gives children the use of a bionic arm to develop their muscle memory during their growth years; National Institute of Design, India
- An LED steering wheel that monitors a driver’s vital signs and stress levels; Loughborough University, UK
- An electronic drawing tool that takes traditional art equipment, like pens and pencils, and enables people with a physical disability including the most highly paralysed people, to independently draw in a physical manner; University of Brighton, UK
- An adaptable cushion for pregnancy that promotes weight distribution allowing for longer, comfortable sitting, Pennsylvania University, United States
- Acoustic based mood tracking to monitor for mental health; Keio University - Graduate School of Media Design
- 3D printed fully biodegradable footwear with self-healing capabilities to extend its usable lifetime; Imperial College London, UK
- A biodegradable raincoat made from corn husk waste; University of the Arts, London
- Biodegradable cling film made of gin; Glasgow School of Art & University of Glasgow, UK
- A photosynthetic skin for the human body, which generates energy from light harvesting, Elisava School of Design, Barcelona, Spain
- The first AI drug discovery company to specialise in cardiovascular disease; University of Cambridge, UK
- Emoticons converted into Braille to help those with vision impairment to communicate; Hasselt University, Belgium
- A wireless sensory rich device that helps premature infants bond with their parents; University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz
- A thermal camera attached for smartphones which scans for fevers; Rizal Technological University, Philippines
- A life detection ball with built-in sensor chips that can detect signs of life in natural disasters within a radius of 5 metres; Zhejiang University, China
- An alternative to blood glucose testing for diabetics, with a device that analyses levels of acetone in exhaled breath for pain free health monitoring; Zhejiang University, China
- An exoskeleton hand for stroke rehabilitation patients; Santos Dumont Institute, Brazil
Together, they provide a fascinating insight into the growing global relevance of several issues, the commonly shared concerns, and the minds at work across the world seeking solutions.
Last year’s entries included a new pillow that could break our habit of using our smartphones to check social media in bed; an alternative, lean source of edible protein made from waste chicken feathers; airbags for the elderly; amphibian informed injury prevention; an earring that monitors glucose levels and super worms that convert plastic into organic matter.
In addition to the virtual and interactive exhibition, Global Grad Show has also developed an Entrepreneurship Programme, with which all the entries will have the chance to enroll in. Since 2019, it has welcomed over 300 participants – a figure that has tripled for this year’s cohort alone, with more than 1,000 registrations to the 4-month journey, which provides business training, mentorship and funding opportunities.
To date, 15 teams have completed the entire programme and various selection phases. The expectation is to triple this number by 2022 and guide more business-ready startups into the impact investment ecosystem. ARM Holding for example, the first Global Grad Show partner to pledge funds for startups from the programme (a USD 2.7 million fund over 10 years, launched in 2019) has recently renewed its commitment to support participants to advance their projects.
Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group, is a programme for graduates in universities across the world whose research and ideas offer solutions to help solve major social and environmental issues. Launched in 2015 and now in its seventh edition, Global Grad Show brings together academics from over 70 countries and 600 universities, from the world’s most prominent academic institutions to local colleges in developing markets, in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to urban design and data sciences.
Each year, participating graduate projects offer audiences the opportunity to enter a universe of academic ingenuity rarely seen outside the campus, through the work of young minds addressing complex issues around the world through their social impact innovations.
Global Grad Show celebrates its innovators through a yearly showcase (held physically until 2019 and online since 2020) and year-round activations supporting graduates and professors on complementing angles: knowledge exchange, entrepreneurship opportunities and international exposure.
Part of Global Grad Show is the entrepreneurship programme, which is open to all applicants and offers startup-building training, mentorship and network access to help graduates advance their projects towards implementation. In 2019, A.R.M. Holding pledged AED 10 million for a 10-year fund to support programme participants with seed capital to advance their development and to accelerate their progress towards market launch.
One of the programme’s new initiatives is the MENA Grad Show, launched in 2020. The physical exhibition celebrates academic talent from the region, showcasing the best social impact innovation projects in the fields of technology, science and design, as part of Dubai Design Week. Visit www.globalgradshow.com for further information.
Further Information - Global Grad Show
The Global Grad Show is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of the Dubai Council and in partnership with A.R.M. Holding and Dubai Culture.
- GVs: Futuristic Concept Designs from Finalists
1. Autonomous robot that lives in the desert to help plant and cultivate seeds; Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation
2. An exoskeleton hand for stroke rehabilitation patients; Santos Dumont Institute, Brazil
3. A contactless vaccination; Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Germany
4. A biomechanical device made from recycled plastics to help patients perform physiotherapy on their own; Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid
5. Transforming home indoor cycling stations into online gaming consoles; Keio University, Japan
6. A wireless sensory rich device that helps premature infants bond with their parents; University of Arts and Industrial Design Linz, Austria
7. Adaptable micro transport; Massey University, New Zealand
8. A holistic system to manage obstructive sleep problems; Umeå institute of Design, Sweden
9. An app to report harassment; German University in Cairo, Egypt
10. A virtual reality narrative that helps people better understand how difficult obsessive thoughts can manifest in one’s daily life; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
11. Smart bracelet for hearing impairment; Badr University in Cairo, Egypt
12. Eco-friendly soluble detergent bag; Lund University, Sweden
13. An artificial breastfeeding device for dogs;
- Stills: Futuristic Concept Designs from Finalists
1. Biodegradable cling film made from gin; Glasgow School of Art & University of Glasgow, UK
2. A photosynthetic skin for the human body, which generates energy from light harvesting; Elisava University, Spain
3. A bionic arm designed specifically for kids that uses the advantages of growth years to develop muscle memory; National Institute of Design, India
4. A life detection ball with built-in sensor chips that can detect signs of life in natural disasters within a radius of 5 metres; Zhejiang University, China
- Soundbites: Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Director, Global Grad Show
- Soundbites: Carlo Rizzo, Editor, Global Grad Show
- Contact details: Hannah Wood