• Scheme open to teams of students with projects with potential for social impact
• Application, open to all university students in the UAE, closes on 31 October
• Funding of up to AED 25,000 available for recipients to take ideas to the next stage
University students across the UAE who believe they have an idea that could make a real difference to society are being urged to apply for a new grant scheme launched today by Expo 2020 Dubai’s Expo Live programme.
Expo Live has an allocation of USD 100 million to back projects that offer creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives, or help preserve the world – or both.
Already, through its flagship Innovation Impact Grant Programme, Expo Live has attracted more than 1,100 applicants from 107 countries around the world and awarded dozens of grants to projects that would not reach their full potential without its support.
Now, it is launching the University Innovation Programme (UIP) to support students in the UAE who have innovative ideas relevant to the region. Ideas could be large or small in scale; it might be a solution to a problem that affects just a small community, such as their own university, or something that could help millions across the region.
It is the first time that Expo Live is inviting grant applications for innovations at the ideas stage. Expo Live’s flagship grant, the Innovation Impact Grant Programme, on the other hand, requires projects to be at the implementation stage or beyond.
Expo Live’s University Innovation Programme grants will range from AED 10,000 to AED 25,000 and applications are open to teams of three to five students.
The grants will help students take their ideas to the next stage in several ways, such as funding research or going towards developing a prototype. They could even help students create a functioning business model.
Yousuf Caires, Vice-President at Expo Live, said: “At Expo Live, we believe innovation can come from anywhere to everyone. Our University Innovation Programme aims to incentivise creative thinking, problem-solving and collaboration between university students in order to provide solutions to problems worth solving. We want to engage university students and cultivate an innovation mindset.
“Our goal echoes the overall theme of Expo 2020 Dubai: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. The programme will allow university students to learn the power of collaboration, and to really have an understanding of what a World Expo feels like, as well as what Expo 2020 Dubai will mean for this region.”
Applicant teams need to submit their proposal by 31 October 2017. As with all Expo Live programmes, the solution must to be aligned with Expo 2020’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability and it must generate a social impact.
The proposals will be assessed and shortlisted teams will be invited to attend a design workshop that will further evaluate the teams. Through the workshop, qualifying teams will also have a chance to prepare for the final round where they will present their proposals live to a panel of judges later this year.
The judges will decide which applicants receive support.
Yousuf Caires added: “We urge students to take part. This is your chance to make a difference.
“We want to reward innovative and promising ideas that can be accelerated through the innovation curve – moving from ideation to validation and prototyping.
“Our vision is to generate viable solutions, be that through the development of commercial applications or further investment in research and development.”
Beyond participation and grants, successful teams will also have access to networking opportunities, communications exposure, as well as additional capacity-building and the possibility for their solutions to be recognised during Expo 2020 Dubai.
Open twice a year for submissions, the programme will also build partnerships with local government entities, business incubators, accelerators, mentors and investors in order to strengthen and promote active and productive ecosystems.
For more information visit https://www.expo2020dubai.ae/expo-live/university