UK Global Grand Challenges Student Competition 2019


The Royal Academy of Engineering is inviting university teams of undergraduate students to participate in the Global Grand Challenges Student Competition 2019: a six-month competition providing students with tangible opportunities and resources to enhance their capacity to address global challenges in a transformational and innovative way. 

University teams should submit a two page plan outlining an initial idea to address a global challenge related to the themes of the Summit (further information can be found here). The deadline for applications has been extended to 12 midday on 25 March 2019. 

Please note that teams are not asked to present a fully-fledged project or start-up business to apply, but rather an initial idea of an innovation. Teams will acquire the knowledge and tools to develop their innovations during the programme outlined below. 

Shortlisted teams will take part in a two-day interactive workshop in April 2019 (likely to be 29-30 April), where they will acquire the knowledge and tools to work independently on their projects, and develop focused design solutions to global challenges – related to the Global Grand Challenges Summit 2019 theme

Teams will then develop their innovations independently ahead of a competition showcase in June 2019, where five winning teams will be selected to compete in the final of the competition on 13 September against teams from China and the USA. 

Winning teams will be awarded a small cash prize and promoted through the Academy’s media and social media channels. 

This competition final will kick off a student Collaboration Lab event, 13-15 September 2019, to which all shortlisted teams will be invited. Following the competition final, all students will be mixed with teams from the USA and China to create new mixed-country teams and will collaborate over the course of the three days to develop new or improved innovations, to be pitched to judges on the final day of the event. 

All shortlisted student teams will also be invited to attend the main Global Grand Challenges Summit to be held 16-18 September 2019 in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the South Bank Centre. This is the launch of a second series of summits jointly hosted by the UK, US and Chinese academies of engineering, inspired by the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering. Confirmed speakers include Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Professor Juergen Maier CBE FREng, Professor Luciano Floridi, Rob Meyerson, Wang Jian, Professor Dame Wendy Hall DBE FRS FREng, William Tunstall-Pedoe, and Loubna Bourfa. Winning mixed country teams will showcase their innovations at the main Summit.