Global Grad Show unveils 150 game-changing ideas to improve the world’s health, reduce carbon and improve quality of life

3,681 graduates in 464 universities across 70 countries submitted entries, with 150 key projects unveiled today, making the 7th edition of Global Grad Show the largest to date

From Bhutan to Peru, from the US to Uganda; today sees the unveiling of 150 highly innovative academic projects to improve lives, support communities and protect the planet. Part of the largest edition of Global Grad Show to date, the shortlisted entries, selected amongst 2,600 submissions from 70 countries, underline key shared concerns internationally, from infant care to net-zero cities, and illustrate the scale of the efforts – and combined approach – necessary to address them.

23 entrants from across the UK are among the 150 chosen submissions to be showcased in Global Grad Show which include:

  1. Soothe – University of Huddersfield. Device to treat chronic pain conditions like Peripheral Neuropathy non invasively
  2. C- Filter – University of Glasgow. Fully submersible ocean microfibre. filtration system designed to reduce the number of microfibres in the ocean and therefore reduce the environmental and health hazards that they pose
  3. Informaize – University of the Arts London Bio-degradable raincoats made from corn husk waste
  4. Fablo – Royal College of Art and Imperial College  – Collaborative story telling game to preserve minority languages
  5. Mealody – Royal College of Art. Smart speaker that helps user control his/her diet by pairing food with music; research indicates that slow tempo and soothing music could be a cue to help us taste flavour more, eat more slowly and thus consume less
  6. F*** Ethics -Royal College of Art. Program within tech incubators where start-ups learn to consider and act upon the ethical implications of their solution
  7. Ramel Architectural Association School of Architecture Desert sand in concrete composites, as an alternative to cement, that results in blocks with high compressive strengths, and reduces environmental damage and carbon footprint of the extraction process
  8. Moception Imperial College, London. One-handed eyes-free text entry and editing system supported by a wrist-worn wearable for visually impaired users
  9. Light-Op – University of Leeds. Surgical overhead light with 2-in-1 solution to surgical and emergency lighting for limited resource hospitals
  10. Loco – Sheffield Hallam University. Walking aid allowing those with locomotion difficulties to experience the outdoors with ease and not restrict the user to a smooth flat surface
  11. SEET – Support Education, Empower Together University of Cambridge ETH Zurich 3. University of Zurich – A study support programme for refugees, with a special focus on women; asserting the right to education, and at the same time supporting female empowerment and a sustainable integration into Swiss society
  12. Submerging Stronghold – University of Cambridge Theoretical solution to rising sea levels; a tower which forms the basis of a new form of life, in a new type of floating city that is anchored to the ancestral soil of its community when the city below is submerged
  13. Portable electroencephalogram system – University of Oxford. Study looking into epilepsy healthcare, especially in remote, rural regions
  14. Shade – Royal College of Art/Imperial College London. Anti-greenwashing browser extension that blocks digital content from unsustainable brands
  15. Quark – Royal College of Art. Smart browser that shows you paths across the internet using the leading technology in AI, data infrastructure and blockchain, giving the user control of his/her online experience based on recommendations from like-minded people
  16. For U With U, Royal College of Art. Helps Fair By Design create a sustainable, participatory system for regulators to engage with and understand different types of consumers when making decisions
  17. Minus – Nottingham Trent University. All-natural charcoal tap water filter that fits in your pocket and removes chemicals, bacteria and odour, providing the user with instant access to clean drinking water
  18. Breana – Imperial College London. Humanoid dress form for lingerie brands and manufacturers that replaces standard mannequin, designed with real women and non-binary people in mind
  19. Scobio – Glasgow School of Art & University of Glasgow Biodegradable cling film made from Scottish gin distillery waste
  20. ALOE – Imperial College Personal medical device to scan skin using hyperspectral technology for improved diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of skin-related diseases
  21. Reactive wear – Heriot Watt University. Thermochromic based sportwear to detect exertional heat stroke
  22. Cardiatec – University of Cambridge. AI drug discovery company to specialise in cardiovascular disease
  23. Re-purposing Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) for a low-cost lighting system – Loughborough University. Low-cost lighting system made from e-waste that provides indoor lighting for 6 houses for at least 4 hours a day
  24. Vehicle Driver’s Stress Level Detection – Loughborough University. Steering wheel to detect, monitor and reduce the passive stress of the driver of a domestic vehicle
  25. Reality – The Future of Footwear Imperial College London. 3D printed fully biodegradable nanocellulose footwear with self-healing capabilities to extend its usable lifetime
  26. Enayball – University of Brighton. Electronic drawing tool that takes traditional art equipment, like pens and pencils, and makes them accessible to anyone with a physical disability

Now in its seventh year, Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group that supports the world’s most promising academic talent in the field of social and environmental impact, reports that it has received 50% more  applications compared to last year, from a network of 464 universities (a 70% increase from 2020). The growth indicates a rising interest among students to solve issues faced by individuals, the society and the environment.

The 150 shortlisted projects are a reflection of what graduates around the world have concentrated on last year, spotlighting some of the world’s major challenges and the most promising ideas to address them. These solutions alternate between theoretical and practical, complex and simple, and hail from the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League institutions to colleges in Indonesia, Mexico and Oman. Such diversity evidences how different approaches can contribute towards common goals. Six new countries having submitted innovations for the first time this year: Bhutan, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Congo and Brunei.

Several themes have emerged in this year’s edition, pointing to the shared concerns of graduates, with this being the first Global Grad Show to take place since the world starts to emerge from the pandemic. These include projects in healthcare and wellbeing (44 entries) and safety and emergency (25 entries), while future-readiness becomes a key common denominator among production and consumption (41 entries), community and inclusion (30 entries) and education and awareness (21 entries).

The ultimate objective for innovating is also broadening. In ‘health’, there is a focus on bypassing traditional healthcare systems, putting greater ownership in the hands of individuals. Ideas include a digital malnutrition monitor, an exoskeleton for stroke rehabilitation and mobile-enabled skin scanner. Within ‘new materials’, projects are looking into an integrative approach between sustainability and progress, including industrial sealants and flame retardants made out of natural components and self-healing textiles and construction materials.

Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Director of Global Grad Show, said: “In the wide spectrum of what innovation means and does, Global Grad Show projects sit at a very distinct position: their primary objective is to create positive net results to the world, either by solving existing problems or preventing new ones. When we look at the volume and quality of these projects across the world, it’s possible to believe in a scenario where their impact outpaces complex global challenges. That alone is a very strong reason to support young entrepreneurial minds working inside universities. There’s probably no group better equipped to build positive change from the ground up.

We are very thankful to the thousands of students and professors who shared their vision with us since 2015 and for the opportunities to grow the programme with our partners, leveraging Dubai’s infrastructure and forward-looking vision. We are extremely excited to be opening our most far-reaching edition ever today. ”

All applying students will have the chance to join Global Grad Show’s entrepreneurship programme this year, a 4-month development route to bring venture-building thinking and opportunities to applicants who want to take their projects forward. Since 2019, it has welcomed over 300 participants – a figure that has tripled for this year’s cohort alone.

The virtual showcase with the 150 projects in this year’s edition is available on  Simultaneously, the MENA Grad Show, a physical exhibition dedicated to social impact innovation by students from universities in the Middle East and North Africa will open today, as part of Dubai Design Week, supported by Dubai Design District (d3).