Dubai: Students in the UAE and elsewhere have created innovative solutions, such as products made from date seeds, which are being exhibited year-round for Dubai’s Global Grad Show.
Judhur is a project that uses the waste by-product of date seeds to create new material, products and new revenue streams for date farms. Some of the products that can be created with date seeds are biodegradable food containers, date seed coffee, natural cosmetics, alternatives to wood, replacements for small plastic components and a natural textile dye. The project is made by Alhaan Abdul Aziz Heba and Ahmad Al Zamil Naji from Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation.
Global Grad Show has returned for the sixth year with 100 graduate projects from the fields of design, science, technology and engineering showcased in an interactive online exhibition. The ideas are the outcome of academic research conducted by graduates and their professors, reflecting areas of environmental, social or economic concern such as the world’s ageing population, the number of people living with chronic illnesses, radical approaches to dealing with waste and the increasing number of communities vulnerable to emergencies.
The chosen projects have been organised around five key emerging trends that were identified from the 1,600 applications from 270 universities in 60 countries. The projects will be brought to life in an inaugural interactive digital exhibition on the event’s website, giving a voice to the next generation of innovators and connecting the public and potential investors all over the world with ideas that have the potential to change lives. The virtual exhibition will showcase graduates behind each of the ideas and will also see prototypes, films and original research material visually curated for online visitors to engage and interact with.
The programme, held under the patronage of Shaikha Latifa Bint Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and member of Dubai Council, is being conducted in partnership with A.R.M Holding and Dubai Culture. This year saw a 30 per cent increase in entries.
Dh10 million pledge
A year-round activation, Global Grad Show entrepreneurship programme supports innovators to materialise their real-world impact. Through training, mentorship, connections with the industry and funding opportunities, it accelerates the process of bringing graduate projects to life. The focus is to develop business skills and offer structured startup-building route to participants. Last year, A.R.M. Holding pledged Dh10 million for a ten-year fund to help talents from Global Grad Show entrepreneurship programme to advance towards market launch, having already supported eight projects.
Finding alterative solutions
Tadeu Caravieri, director of Global Grad Show, said: “The diversity of the community of young talented researchers we bring together at Global Grad Show has many facets: They span across six continents, institutions from Ivy League to regional colleges and disciplines from bioengineering through to architecture. They do have, however, a reassuring common denominator: They investigate problems, social and environmental, that matter for everyone. This year, with more than 1,600 projects submitted, we have been able to map what are the most frequently occurring issues, keeping these bright minds awake at night. That exercise resulted in the diagnosis of problems that are brewing at a global scale and affecting innumerable communities, which we are calling Trends. These global trends, five in total, have grouped the main areas of concerns and today we present 100 projects that are, in essence, alternatives and remedies put forward by our global community of graduates, whose ambition is to create a future-ready world.”
Some international projects:
• A non-invasive blood glucose ‘earring’ that tests blood sugar through radio waves (University of Huddersfield, England).
• A fluorescent hat for children walking in the dark (Zhejiang University, China).
• An autonomous weeding robot for small-scale urban farmers (Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden).
• Using Durian fruit as an alternative to Styrofoam (National University of Singapore, Singapore).
• A temperature regulating curtain (University of Arts Berlin, Germany).
• A device that replaces clinical sounds with colour during chemotherapy treatment (RMIT, Australia).
• A carbon dioxide eliminator using green bacterial technology (Unaula University, Colombia).
• A firefighting light aircraft with a targeted foam-firing bionic arm (Universidad Privada del Norte, Peru).
• An airbag belt to cushion the elderly from falls (University of Limerick, Ireland).
• Low cost shoes made from recycled bottle plastics for school-girls walking lengthy distances (Mackerere University, Uganda).
• Biodegradable food containers made of date seeds to start an economic system for date farmers to generate income, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation.