One of the first innovation programmes in the world to react to the pandemic, Global Grad Show, launched an open call on the March 12th, leveraging its community of 260 universities across six continents to gather proposals addressing COVID-19 collateral issues, receiving 390 applications within three weeks, from 125 universities.
The proposals were evaluated over two assessment rounds by a jury of senior representatives from leading private and public organisations in Dubai, followed by a series of detailed analysis and interviews with shortlisted teams. Global Grad Show objective was to identify innovative projects that can create real impact around the world, taking into account their development requirements, scalability and readiness to be accelerated.
“The problem-solving power of Global Grad Show’s platform demonstrates — arguably more than ever — our community’s strength and relevance to address complex issues. Thanks to our alignment with Dubai’s future-looking vision and policies, we are able to attract top international talent and continue to develop high impact projects in the city,” said Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Global Grad Show’s Director.
A few weeks ago, I spotlighted some of the proposals that mitigated the social impact of the pandemic. On Wednesday, Global Grad Show announced the projects that will be put through an accelerated development programme.
The selected proposals apply research and expertise in fields ranging from medical engineering to industrial design and computer science and are: Anti-Viral Packaging, a delivery box made of materials that prevent viral proliferation, Foresight, an AI system to monitor patient information, VEA, a simple device to make bleach at home and Help Ourselves, an app to connect volunteers to people in need.
Foresight — an AI system to monitor patients. A trained AI system which is able to constantly process patients’ clinical information, providing an algorithmic distribution of intensive care results, increasing patient turnover and easing clinical staff workload through a prioritising system. By Samyakh Tukra and Martha Kedrycki, Imperial College London.
Anti-viral Package — an anti-proliferation delivery container. Anti-proliferation materials (such as medical grade kraft paper) are repurposed and combined with QR code technology to make delivery packages safer. The solution prevents viral proliferation and can be used inside sterilising machines. By Erick Heredia Carrillo, National Autonomous University of Mexico.
Help Ourselves — a docking app for COVID-19 volunteering. People have shown willingness to help others get through these difficult times, but they lack reliable channels for mutual collaboration and an aggregating database. Help ourselves is a docking app for people who are in need and those who want to help. By Hanhui Deng, He Xu, Zijing Wan and Yidi Zhao, Hunan University.
VEA — a device to make bleach at home. A low-cost home-made option to produce disinfecting liquid bleach anywhere in the world, through the use of an electrical component that converts a simple mix of water and salt into bleach. By Mostafa Barmchi, Sepideh Golgoon, Ali Mohammad Sharifi and Amir Rezaei, Islamic Azad University.
The creators of selected proposals will be invited to embark on an acceleration programme offered by Global Grad Show, receiving business training, mentorship and networking opportunities within their industries, to advance their ideas. Over the next two months, they will be equipped with tools and guidance to take their projects to pilot stage and find opportunities to go to market. Each selected proposal will also be supported with a grant equivalent to the creator’s tuition fees.
Over the past few months one thing is absolutely clear to me, and I hope you feel the same: it would be an utter waste if we all don’t learn from the pandemic and emerge as better, more resilient, compassionate and aware versions of ourselves.
A lot of this development has to happen at the level of the individual, their unique perspective and thought process. But at a larger level, these selected projects hold the potential to address issues faced by vulnerable communities in virtually every country and bring about positive change in how we tackle future outbreaks.