Design competition to tackle coronavirus announces winners
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Four winners of a competition for designs to help manage the coronavirus pandemic have been announced and will be taken forward to a development phase.
The chosen projects from Global Grad Show's Covid-19 initiative include an AI system for monitoring patients in intensive care, developed at Imperial College London, and a delivery container made of materials that inhibit the spread of the virus, from The National Autonomous University of Mexico.
The list also features a device that lets people make bleach at home, created by graduates of Islamic Azad University in Iran, and an app for connecting volunteers with vulnerable people, from designers at Hunan University, China.
"You can post a help message on our platform and others will see this message and try to connect with you," explains Zijing Wan of the "Help Ourselves" project. "The inspiration came from stories that actually happened: grandmothers who donated their life savings, medical team members who requested support for Wuhan."
Developing the designs
Global Grad Show usually exhibits the ingenuity of students and graduates around the world as part of Dubai Design Week. This year an emergency edition was convened to address the pandemic, with an open call for entrants going out in March.
Almost 400 came in from representatives of 125 institutions in 40 countries, which were whittled down by a "jury of experts in innovation, technology and new ventures who looked for solutions that can create direct impact and are ready to be accelerated."
The competition is held in partnership with the Investment Corporation of Dubai, and the intention is to make ideas into reality as rapidly as possible. The potential for swift implementation was among the criteria for selecting the final projects.
The winners will be placed on an acceleration program and receive funding, training and mentorship, in the expectation that their designs will soon be used as part of the global effort to control Covid-19.