Dubai’s Global Grad Show, a diverse gathering of graduate ideas for social impact, 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 rigorous academic research conducted by graduates and their professors, reflecting areas of deepest environmental, social or economic concern, such as the world’s aging population, the number of people living with chronic illness, the radical approaches dealing with waste and the increasing number of communities vulnerable to emergencies.
The 100 chosen projects have been organized around five key emerging trends that were identified from the 1,600 applications from 270 universities in 60 countries. These five trends, or global problems requiring solutions, are:
• Living with illness and disability
• Coping in a complex world
• Saving and protecting vulnerable lives
• Cleaning a waste-filled planet
• Sustaining the urban experience
Tadeu Baldani 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 and 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.”
Some of the projects this year include: A non-invasive blood glucose “earring” that tests blood sugar through radio waves (University of Huddersfield, England); a fluorescent hat for commuting 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); low-cost shoes made from recycled bottle plastics for schoolgirls walking lengthy distances (Mackerere University, Uganda); and biodegradable food containers made of date seeds to start an economic system for date farmers to generate income (Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation)
The virtual exhibition will showcase the graduates behind each one of ideas and will also see prototypes, films and original research material visually curated for online visitors to engage and interact with.
The program, now in its sixth year, and held under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and member of Dubai Council, and in partnership with A.R.M Holding and Dubai Culture, saw entries rise by 30 percent this year.
A year-round activation, the Global Grad Show entrepreneurship program supports innovators to materialize their real-world impact through training, mentorship, connections with the industry and funding opportunities.