Wed 13-12-2017 17:49 PM

UAEU students receive Expo Live grants to tackle regional challenges

DUBAI, 13th December, 2017 (WAM) -- Nineteen groups of UAE University, UAEU, students have received grants between AED10,000 and AED25,000 to develop creative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in the UAE and the region, thanks to Expo 2020 Dubai’s flagship innovation and partnership programme, Expo Live.

About 1,000 students submitted ideas to Expo Live’s University Innovation Programme, addressing at least one of Expo 2020’s sub-themes Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability with the support of 40 universities in the UAE.

Twenty-one student groups were shortlisted for the final stage of the competition, which was held on 25th November. During the final stage, the students pitched their solutions to a panel of judges composed of members of the Expo Live team, Expo 2020 official partners, experts and academics. The size of each grant was based on the maturity, scalability and potential impact of the idea.

The awarded solutions include a device that turns food waste into a fertiliser, a labelling system that informs consumers how much carbon dioxide is emitted from their food, and a smart app that calculates a driver’s level of stress to help minimise road accidents.

The grants will be managed by the students’ universities, which will continue to support the groups to move on from the idea and design stages to prototyping. Expo Live will also provide them with exposure and networking opportunities with Expo 2020’s official partners. The students may also have the opportunity to showcase their solutions at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Expo Live also recognised Abu Dhabi Polytechnic for having the highest number of participating students, while Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Dubai Campus was recognised for the strength of its teachers’ engagement in the programme.

The University Innovation Programme was launched in September 2017 with the support of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. The programme will run another three cycles including during the lead-up to Expo 2020 Dubai. The next cycle opens in August 2018.

Yousuf Caires, Vice President of Expo Live, said, ‘‘Expo Live aims to encourage and promote creative solutions that improve our lives and make our world a better place. The students that participated in the University Innovation Programme also aim to achieve this, so it is a natural fit for us to support them. We are excited to give them the opportunity to develop their ideas further with grants worth up to AED25,000.

"It is an amazing experience to be able to witness all these young local talents gathered for the same purpose finding solutions to our most challenging problems, on themes such as opportunity, mobility and sustainability, which are also Expo 2020’s sub-themes."

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Nour Salman