A new initiative by Global Grad Show, MENA Grad Show is set to highlight social impact ideas from universities across the region, through 50 innovation projects designed to shape our lives for the better.

The new programme, held in partnership with A.R.M. Holding, will be showcased in a physical exhibition at Dubai Design District (d3) during Dubai Design Week, commencing on 9 November 2020. I will showcase 50 of the most exciting projects from the Middle East and North Africa for social impact innovation, focused on solutions to improve and transform lives. The exhibition is set to be a platform for discovery of impact innovation created by university graduates across the region.

The MENA Grad Show has received more than 200 submissions from 36 universities based in the Middle East and North Africa, including Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), the German University in Cairo (GUC), The American University of Sharjah (AUS) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) - the exhibition will spotlight projects in the fields of technology, science and design and will enable graduates and professors to showcase their concepts to a regional and international audience through a physical exhibition.

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the esteemed patron said: “A strong culture of progress and innovation is driven by the ideas of its people, we are therefore proud to announce the inaugural MENA Grad Show which will provide a voice for graduate talent in the region like never before from its home in Dubai. These new ideas have the capacity to not only transform our lives for the better, but they have the potential to shape the future of our world as we know it. It is imperative that we, across the public and private sectors, use such platforms to support this ambitious young talent, engage with these innovators in conversations and explore opportunities of collaboration and support that would turn these prototypes into real world solutions.”

MENA Grad Show will be a diverse showcase of how students in different disciplines, from architecture to chemistry and electric engineering, approach complex social and environmental problems and put forward solutions that include: a personal positioning system to help the visually impaired navigate independently, a microwave-enabled monitor to reduce water loss in pipelines by 50%, an alternative to concrete using palm tree waste and a streamlined process to extract lithium from the ocean.

Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Director of Global Grad Show, said: “The MENA Grad Show was developed specifically to support the regions’ most talented innovators in academia. It aims to be a catalyst for positive change by engaging with the future leaders of tomorrow early in their development route. Through the initiative, MENA Grad Show’s goal is to create opportunities for regional graduates to be discovered by global audiences, further putting Dubai on the map in terms of becoming an incubator and developer of innovation and entrepreneurship. The MENA Grad Show will mirror Global Grad Show’s core values of exhibiting graduate projects that make the world a better place, using both high-and low-tech innovation, with the aim to give a voice to the next generation of regional innovators.”

The physical exhibition will be complemented by the Entrepreneurship Programme to advance selected projects towards market implementation. It will also allow visitors to have direct interaction with the graduates behind each one of the ideas and will also see prototypes, films and original research material visually curated for people to engage and interact with.

Commenting on the importance of supporting regional talent, Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, CEO of A.R.M. Holding, said: “We are excited to extend our sponsorship to the Global Grad Show’s regional iteration, the MENA Global Grad Show. The initiative will be at the forefront of regional Social Impact Innovation as it highlights the importance of grassroot contributions to the world’s most pressing issues.”