Global Grad Show Unveils Largest and Most Diverse Edition Showcasing 150 Game-changing Projects From 114 Universities Across 53 Countries
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.
Now in its seventh year, Global Grad Show is an initiative by the Art Dubai Group, held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, a member of Dubai Counci, that supports the world’s most promising academic talent in the field of social and environmental impact. It has received applications from graduates in 464 universities (a 70% increase from 2020), with entries including returning institutions, from Harvard to Oxford, to first-time applicants from new countries including 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 150 featured submissions, which will be showcased in an interactive digital online year-long exhibition launching today include:
- An AI-enabled drug discovery system specialised in cardiovascular disease. University of Cambridge, UK
- A solar-powered robot that lives in the desert to plant seeds. Dubai Institute of Design & Innovation, UAE
- A ball that can detect sign of life in areas affected by natural disasters. Zhejiang Univerisity, China
- An anti-greenwashing browser that blocks content from unsustainable brands. Royal College of Art, UK
- A wireless sensory device to help premature babies bond with their parents. Uni. of Arts Linz, Austria
- An exoskeleton hand for stroke rehabilitation patients. Santos Dumont Institute, Brazil
Among the Global Grad Show initiatives is the MENA Grad Show. Launched in 2020, it showcases the best social impact innovations in the fields of science, design and architecture, by students from universities in the region. This year’s physical exhibition will feature 60 projects by 78 students from 29 universities across 10 countries. From the selected projects, 27 are from UAE univerisities and 80% of students are female, confirming the impact of regional government initiatives to incentivise innovation and entrepreneursip led education among women. Some of the highlight projects include:
- A device to produce organic super-food at home and. Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, UAE
- An app to organise the routine of dementia patients and offer therapy. American University in Cairo, Egypt
- A e-reader app to assist dyslexics with reading and comprehension. American University of Sharjah, UAE
- A home filter to reduce the release of microplastics in the ocean. Middle East Technical University, Turkey
- A magnetic skin to allow people with quadriplegia to control their surroundings. Univeristy of Jeddah, KSA
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 have grown the programme consistently, thanks to the long-term support of our partners Dubai Culture, A.R.M. Holding, Dubai Design District (d3) and the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, a member of Dubai Council. 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 expectation is to increase the programme’s output significantly this year, through partnerships and more investment opportunities. A.R.M. 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.
The MENA Grad Show physical exhibition will open to public between November 8-13, 2021, as part of Dubai Design Week, supported by Dubai Design District (d3). Simultaneously the Global Grad Show international showcase of 150 projects will be unveiled online through an interactive digital exhibition at www.globalgradshow.com .
Dubai Design District (d3)
Dubai Design District (d3) has been developed through careful consultation with the design community to provide a creative ecosystem that surpasses the expectations of a typical creative neighbourhood. d3 forges the inspiring, authentic, and relevant ideas shaping Dubai’s future as a leading destination of design, art, and culture. It has its own beating heart, its own spirit and its own very personal style.