An initiative by the Art Dubai Group, and Dubai Design Week anchor event Global Grad Show 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 apply research and expertise in fields ranging from medical engineering to industrial design and computer science and are: 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 selected proposals will 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 selected proposal will also be supported with a grant equivalent to the creator’s tuition fees. More details on each proposal can be found below:

Foresight – an AI system to monitor patients. A trained AI system which 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 Package – an anti-proliferation delivery container. Anti-proliferation materials (such as medical grade kraft paper) are repurposed and combined with QR code technology to make delivery packages safer. The solution prevents viral proliferation and can be used inside sterilising machines. By Erick Heredia Carrillo, National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Help Ourselves – a docking app for Covid-19 volunteering. People have shown willingness to help 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 – a device to make bleach at home. A low-cost home-made 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

One of the first innovation programmes in the world to react to the pandemic, Global Grad Show, that is held in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), and supported by A.R.M. Holding and Dubai Culture, launched an open call on the March 12th, leveraging its unique community of 260 universities across six continents to gather proposals addressing COVID-19 collateral issues, receiving 390 applications within three weeks, from 125 universities.

Commenting on the initiative, Mohammad Al Shehhi, CEO of A.R.M. Holding, that has pledged AED 10m to support Global Grad Show startups, said:

“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. 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”.

The proposals were evaluated over two assessment rounds by a jury of senior representatives from leading private and public organisations in Dubai, followed by a series of detailed analysis and interviews with shortlisted teams. Global Grad Show objective was to identify innovative projects that can create real impact around the world, taking into account their development requirements, scalability and readiness to be accelerated.

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” said, Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Global Grad Show’s Director.