A year-round social impact innovation programme for graduate students across the world, Global Grad Show – held during Dubai Design Week in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), and supported by A.R.M. Holding and Dubai Culture – has selected four proposals that will go into a structured development programme, following its initiative to find solutions to the collateral issues of Covid-19.

The selected proposals, which apply research and expertise in fields ranging from medical engineering to industrial design and computer science, include: Anti-Viral Packaging, a delivery box made of materials that prevent viral proliferation; Foresight, an AI system to monitor patient information; VEA, a simple device to make bleach at home; and Help Ourselves, an app to connect volunteers to people in need.

The creators of the winning innovations will now be invited to embark on an acceleration programme offered by Global Grad Show, receiving business training, mentorship and networking opportunities within their industries to advance their ideas. Over the next two months, they will be equipped with tools and guidance to take their projects to pilot stage and find opportunities to go to market. Each proposal will also be supported with a grant equivalent to the creator’s tuition fees.

The level of response to the initiative mirrors the strength and potential of the global academic community, of which Global Grad Show has been a significant catalyst and champion for so many years,” says Mohammad Al Shehhi, CEO of A.R.M. Holding, which has pledged AED 10 million to support Global Grad Show startups. “We support graduate talent and have seen their contribution to all dimensions of life and society through our partnership with Global Grad Show and feel ever more hopeful about their ability to work to the benefit of people and the planet.”

Global Grad Show launched an open call for solutions to the pandemic on 12 March, leveraging its community of 260 universities across six continents to gather proposals addressing Covid-19 collateral issues. It received 390 applications from 125 universities within three weeks.

The proposals were then evaluated over two assessment rounds by a jury of senior representatives from leading private and public organisations in Dubai, before a series of detailed analysis and interviews with shortlisted teams. Global Grad Show’s objective was to identify projects that could make a real impact worldwide, taking into account their development requirements, scalability and readiness to be accelerated.

Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Global Grad Show’s Director, comments: “The problem-solving power of Global Grad Show’s platform demonstrates – arguably more than ever – our community’s strength and relevance to address complex issues. Thanks to our alignment with Dubai’s future-looking vision and policies, we are able to attract top international talent and continue to develop high impact projects in the city.”


Foresight by Imperial College London

Foresight: a trained AI system that is able to constantly process patients’ clinical information, providing an algorithmic distribution of intensive care results, increasing patient turnover and easing clinical staff workload through a prioritising system. By Samyakh Tukra and Martha Kedrycki, Imperial College London.

Anti-viral delivery package by National Autonomous University of Mexico

Anti-viral Package: anti-proliferation materials such as medical-grade kraft paper are combined with QR code technology to make deliveries safer. The solution prevents viral proliferation and can be used inside sterilising machines. By Erick Heredia Carrillo, National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Help Ourselves by Hunan University

Help Ourselves: people have helped others get through these difficult times, but they lack reliable channels for mutual collaboration and an aggregating database. Help Ourselves is a docking app for people who are in need and those who want to help. By Hanhui Deng, He Xu, Zijing Wan and Yidi Zhao, Hunan University.

VEA by Islamic Azad University

VEA: a low-cost homemade option to produce disinfecting liquid bleach anywhere in the world, through the use of an electrical component that converts a simple mix of water and salt into bleach. By Mostafa Barmchi, Sepideh Golgoon, Ali Mohammad Sharifi and Amir Rezaei, Islamic Azad University.