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Launch of Global Grad Show 2020: The most diverse showcase of graduate ideas

Launch of Global Grad Show 2020

Launch of Global Grad Show 2020: The most diverse showcase of graduate ideas expands programme to identify global trends and take social impact projects to market


  • A new exhibition format will reveal the top-of-mind social and environmental challenges according to graduates from 60 countries
  • Trends will be drawn from a record 1,600 graduation projects submitted by students in 270 universities – a 30% increase on the previous year – with 100 shortlisted to provide insight and understanding on global environmental, social and economic issues
  • The Global Grad Show entrepreneurship programme secures funding to take two life-changing solutions to market
  • 9th November marks the unveiling of the new interactive virtual exhibition and the beginning of a new entrepreneurship training cohort

October 12th, 2020: Global Grad Show, the most diverse programme for graduates working on social impact innovation, continues to expand its reach, real-world impact and legacy. Today, it has revealed a forward-looking approach to its applications’ review process, new success stories from its 2019 inaugural entrepreneurship programme and an interactive digital platform where graduate talent and projects will be featured from November.

The programme, now in its sixth year and held in partnership with A.R.M. Holding and Dubai Culture, will evolve to focus on the most commonly shared concerns amongst graduates from around the world, identified from the record 1,600 + applications received from 270 universities in 60 countries. Entries, up 30% on the previous year, range from leading institutions such as Harvard, MIT and Imperial College to universities in developing countries. With representation for the first time from countries such as Indonesia, El Salvador and Oman, the 202O exhibition will be the most diverse Global Grad Show to date.

The applications are the outcome of rigorous academic research conducted by graduates and their professors, offering unique insight into areas of deep concern for the future generation, in the fields of environmental, social and economic development.

This years’ showcase will be organised around key emerging trends and 100 projects will be selected to illustrate their nature, complexity and global relevance. The show will be a forward-looking gathering of solutions for each identified trend, created by the world’s most talented science, technology and design students.

The projects will be brought to life in an inaugural interactive digital exhibition, giving a voice to the next generation of innovators. The virtual exhibition will allow for direct interaction with 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, including a global heat map of ideas and trending issues.

Global Grad Show also announced today the funding of two graduate projects from the 2019 Entrepreneurship Programme through A.R.M. Holding AED 10 million Fund, which was set up to support Global Grad Show participants to develop their business models and go to market.

They are:

  • SpectrumLab: a reflective thermochromic paint that changes its colour based on temperature. The IP-backed new material was developed for use in construction, with the aim of reducing building’s temperature variance and improving energy efficiency. If applied at scale, the technology has the potential to help regulate heat islands and urban temperatures. By Willy Camou, Francesco Giordano, Raphael Sanchez & Zeynep Tuluman from Politecnico di Torino and Collège des Ingénieurs.

  • Safe Cooking: a portable stove developed for people (estimated 2 billion around the world) whose current cooking methods are unsafe, inefficient and expensive. The new design is a simple and affordable solution that consumes less fuel, cooks faster and includes a proper ventilation system, allowing fire cooking to remain a central part of domestic life for poor communities, without posing health risks. By Sarmad Hassan from the University of Karachi

In addition Global Grad Show’s Covid-19 initiative, one of the first international open calls to address Covid-19 challenges, has four projects currently undergoing entrepreneurship training, with one advancing pilot stage:

  • Foresight: an AI system which processes clinical information of patients in intensive care units, capable of predicting and alerting patient health deterioration, up to 48hrs earlier than current diagnosis alternatives. The system was designed to be easily integrated into hospitals, using data already commonly collected by intensive care units, being capable of streamlining patient care around the world. The founder is Sam Tukra, currently undertaking a PhD at Imperial College London in AI and Advanced Machine Vision.

The 2020 Global Grad Show participants will be invited to apply to the new cohort of the Entrepreneurship Programme, which to date has supported 30 projects, in fields ranging from medical to waste management and from mental health to migrating communities, to do further research, meet industry and prepare for their market launch. The Programme’s goal is to accelerate the development of innovations created by graduates through tailored business training, mentorship and by providing introductions to investors and stakeholders from the social development agenda. 

On November 9th, Global Grad Show, which is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, will unveil the trends from the 2020 applications, the selection of 100 projects and the interactive digital platform where year-round content will be made available to all audiences. On the same day, the programme will inaugurate a physical exhibition focusing on talent from the MENA region, as part of  Dubai Design Week.

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