top of page

Global Grad Show launches today and unveils 100 ideas from over 40 countries

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

The only exhibition of its kind, Dubai’s Global Grad Show returns for the sixth year with 100 graduate projects from the fields of design, science, technology and engineering, showcased in an interactive online exhibition. The ideas are the outcome of rigorous academic research conducted by graduates and their professors, reflecting areas of most profound environmental, social or economic concern, such as the world’s ageing population, the number of people living with chronic illness, the radical approaches dealing with waste and the increasing number of communities vulnerable to emergencies.

Global Grad Show launches today and unveils 100 ideas from over 40 countries
2020 Autoweeder by Stina Godée, Lund University of Industrial Design

The chosen projects have been organised around five key emerging trends that were identified from the 1,600 applications from 270 universities in 60 countries.

Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Director of Global Grad Show, said: “The diversity of the community of talented young researchers we bring together at Global Grad Show has many facets: they span across six continents, institutions from Ivy League to regional colleges and disciplines from bioengineering through to architecture. They do have a reassuring common denominator, however: they investigate problems, social and environmental, that matter for everyone. This year with over 1,600 submitted student projects, we have been able to map what are the most frequently occurring issues keeping these bright minds awake at night. That exercise resulted in the diagnosis of problems that are brewing at a global scale and affecting in numerous communities, which we are calling Trends. These global trends, five in total, have grouped the main areas of concerns, and today we present 100 projects that are, in essence, alternatives and remedies put forward by our global community of graduates. whose ambition is to create a future-ready world.”


The five trends are:

- Living with Illness & Disability

- Coping in a Complex World

- Saving and Protecting Vulnerable Lives

- Cleaning a Waste Filled Planet

-Sustaining the Urban Experience

Projects that provide a solution to those trends include:

  • A non-invasive blood glucose ‘earring’ that tests blood sugar through radiowaves, University of Huddersfield, England

  • A fluorescent hat for commuting children walking in the dark, Zhejiang University, China

  • An autonomous weeding robot for small-scale urban farmers, Lund University School of Industrial Design, Sweden

  • Using Durian fruit as an alternative to Styrofoam, National University of Singapore, Singapore

  • A temperature-regulating curtain, University of Arts Berlin, Germany

  • A device which replaces clinical sounds with colour during chemotherapy treatment, RMIT, Australia

  • A CO2 eliminator using green bacterial technology, Unaula University, Colombia

  • A light firefighting aircraft with a targeted foam firing bionic arm, Universidad Privada del Norte, Peru

  • An airbag belt to cushion the elderly from falls, University of Limerick, Ireland

  • Low-cost shoes made from recycled bottle plastics for school-girls walking lengthy distances, Makerere University, Uganda

  • Biodegradable food containers made of date seeds to start an economic system for date farmers to generate income, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation

2020 Plus Minus 25 by Anna Koppmann,  Esmée Willemsen, UDK
2020 Plus Minus 25 by Anna Koppmann, Esmée Willemsen, UDK

The projects will be brought to life in an inaugural interactive digital exhibition on, giving a voice to the next generation of innovators and connecting the public and potential investors all over the world with ideas that have the potential to change lives. The virtual exhibition will showcase the graduates behind each one of ideas and will also see prototypes, films and original research material visually curated for online visitors to engage and interact with.

The programme, now in its sixth year, and held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and member of Dubai Council, and in partnership with A.R.M Holding and Dubai Culture, saw entries rise by 30% and features ideas from leading institutions such as Imperial College and Harvard, alongside first-time representation from countries such as Indonesia, El Salvador and Oman.

ALITE 3 Nicole Gemlitski
ALITE 3 Nicole Gemlitski

A year-round activation, Global Grad Show entrepreneurship programme supports innovators to materialise their real-world impact. Through training, mentorship, connections with the industry and funding opportunities, it accelerates the process of bringing graduate projects to life. The focus is to develop business skills and offer a structured startup-building route to participants. Last year, A.R.M. Holding pledged AED 10 million for a 10-year fund to help talents from Global Grad Show entrepreneurship programme to advance towards market launch, having already supported eight projects.

More Great Dubai Route Stories


bottom of page