The rapid escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on various medical, economic and social dimensions across the world, and resulted in a series of yet unsolved collateral issues.

In an effort to channel the immense potential of academic institutions to find solutions for such problems, Global Grad Show launched an initiative inviting its community of 260 universities around the world to submit proposals addressing the myriad of issues brought on by COVID-19.

In less than three weeks, following the opening of the applications on March 16, 390 projects have been submitted by university graduates, undergraduates and professors from 125 academic institutions across 40 countries. The proposals came from fields ranging from medical engineering to game design, psychology, network science and business, from leading international universities such as Oxford, Harvard, Imperial College and Insead, alongside institutions in emerging markets such as Peru, Uganda, Egypt, Turkey and Malaysia.

One of the main goals of the initiative was to identify projects that can be advanced towards testing and implementation and four proposals have been selected to follow a structured development programme.

Taking into account their development requirements, scalability and readiness to be accelerated, a jury of senior representatives from leading private and public organisations in Dubai evaluated proposals over two assessment rounds, and after a series of detailed analysis and interviews, the finalists were selected .

The creators behind these selected ideas will be awarded the tuition fee of their current studies and will embark on an acceleration programme offered by Global Grad Show in collaboration with Wamda, receiving business training, mentorship and supported networking opportunities within their industries, to advance their ideas towards implementation. Over the next two months, they will be equipped with tools and guidance to take their projects to pilot stage and find opportunities to take them to market.

The four selected proposals are:

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 Marta 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 Iroel Heredia Carrillo, National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Help Ourselves – a docking app for Covid-19 volunteering.
How are members of society supposed to keep their sanity, finances, and health afloat when they are understandably encouraged to stay inside and avoid other humans for everyone’s safety? Earth Suit looks at a scenario of extended pandemic, during which people will inevitably need to get out of their houses, while protecting their safety. It is a one-part suit that contains a built-in helmet and full body coverage while allowing for freedom of movement and social interaction. By Lauren Miyoko, Rochester Institute of Technology.

VEA – a device to make bleach at home.
The coronavirus pandemic has left health systems worldwide struggling with the overwhelming amount of people needing intensive respiratory care, resulting in a challenging environment to monitor and respond to patient deterioration. Foresight is a trained AI system which is able to constantly process patient’s clinical information, providing an algorithmic distribution of intensive care results, increasing patient turnover and easing clinical staff workload through a prioritizing system. By Third Eye Intelligence team, Imperial College London.

To view more submitted proposals, click here