UK Innovations for positive impact: a heat and humidity-regulating roof tiles and smart badges to enhance personal security
A visual aid enhancing focus, a heat and humidity-regulating roof tiles and smart badges to protect you in the dark are among the university innovations being displayed at Prototypes of Humanity, an annual programme that trawls the world for the most innovative academic projects addressing problems affecting people and the planet.
12 UK and Irish entrants are among the 100 projects featured at the Prototypes for Humanity programme which engaged with thousands of students and professors across 710 universities in 108 countries and within 200 different research fields this year. The resulting 100 shortlisted projects were developed by graduates from universities including: Yale, Stanford, Oxford, Princeton, Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, Cambridge and UCL will be present at the exhibition in Dubai, alongside supervising professors, and team members. $100,000 in prizes will be presented at The 2023 Prototypes for Humanity Awards Ceremony to projects across 5 categories that reflect key priority areas from the COP28 agenda.
The UK innovations include:
- Smart badge enhancing nighttime security(eNOugh: University College London, United Kingdom) Designed for easy use during late hours, the badge integrates night vision, GPS, movement detection, an alarm, and AI support.
- Innovative visual aid enhancing focus, inspired by ADHD research(Oasis: University of Limerick, Ireland)
- Carbon capture technology applied to vehicle exhausts (CompCap Tech: The University of Edinburgh)
- Bio-based polyurethanes to replace harmful petrol-plastics (Algreen Ltd: Imperial College London)
- Revolutionising biomass production by turning noise into growth (ALGAEWAVE: Imperial College London, UK)
- Heat and humidity-regulating roof tiles from recycled material (Wastly: Bournemouth University, UK)
Global innovations include:
- Turning kitchen waste into organic compounds and essential oils (vleur: Keio University, Japan)
- Transforming coffee farming waste into eco-products (Beyond The Coffee Cup: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico)
- Transforming potato chips waste into bioplastics and valuable chemicals (Potato Upcycling: Bio and Emerging Technology Institute (BETin), Ethiopia)
- Eco-friendly bioplastics made from invasive weeds (HyaPak: Egerton University, Kenya)
- Real-time weather monitoring solution for vulnerable communities (Kloudtrack: Bataan Peninsula State University, The Philippines)
- 3D-printed design to revolutionise hip dysplasia treatment in babies (Hipcare: ELISAVA, Spain)
- Affordable,eco-friendly sanitary pads using plantain fibres (Plad: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana)
- Medicine-injection device optimised for use in emergency disaster scenarios(The Golden Capsule: Hongik University, South Korea)
- Device-enabled AIto detects breast cancer in urine for young women (The Blue Box: University of California, Irvine, United States)
- Indoor navigation system for those that are deaf or blind(PolarisMaps: PolyU School of Design, China)
- Early malnutrition detection for use in remote areas(KUKUA: Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Director, Prototype for Humanity comments: “As we gather at the 2023 edition of Prototypes of Humanity, where ingenuity knows no bounds, we bring to the forefront an impressive array of academic projects by students in global academic institutions, alongside leading universities in developing countries. Among the many complementing faces of social impact, health (including safety and emergency response) emerges unsurprisingly as a key area of concern – and one where technology, science and creativity is being channeled by academic talent from around the world. Through our participant’s research, we often encounter problems that are still not sufficiently voiced, and the solutions that offer a glimpse into the future of healthcare.”
The event is open to the public, at Emirates Towers (The Boulevard), Dubai prior to COP28 on Wednesday 29 November and Thursday 30 November 2023. This year, the assessment of submission relied also on AI, used to establish connections, and assess the relevance of the projects compared to large databases of published research in their respective fields. The 2023 Prototypes for Humanity Awards Ceremony will be held at COP28 on 2 December
The breadth of the solutions on display also reflects Prototypes for Humanity’s growing reach and community is at the heart of Dubai’s future-looking ecosystem, thanks to a new milestone partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation. The projects carry many of the underlying technologies necessary to achieve the ambitious goals that will be discussed by global leaders a few days later at COP28 in Dubai.
The Prototypes for Humanity programme also seeks to help solutions go to market, by bringing together three key components, under a novel model: (i) academic IP (ii) venture studios and (iii) industry partnerships.
During the 2023 programme in Dubai, participating graduates will take part in workshops, round tables and discussions with startup and industry experts, as a first step towards entering Prototypes for Humanity structured venture-building programme – a new initiative that aims to directly support selected projects to create a viable business model and go to market.
Header image: Indoor navigation system for those that are deaf or blind PolarisMaps PolyU School of Design, China