The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity Announces The 20 Finalists For The US$1 Million Global Maker Challenge 2020
Launched in 2019 in Abu Dhabi, the Global Maker Challenge by The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity now records a 200% increase in applications from around the world.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity has announced the 20 finalists for the Global Maker Challenge who will compete for prizes and mentorship worth up to US$1 million. They will present their solutions during a series of virtual pitches that will commence on August 31, 2020, in the lead up to the Global Maker Challenge Award Ceremony on September 6, 2020.
The finalists were selected from over 3,400 solutions that were submitted for Cohort 2 of the Global Maker Challenge, which was launched at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization's (UNIDO) 8th Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries in November 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Solutions from over 148 countries were received, of which 18% came in from least developed countries.
The 20 finalists, comprising of five innovators per theme, were assessed and shortlisted in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's SOLVE initiative (MIT SOLVE), and a jury of 47 globally renowned subject matter and innovation experts from UN agencies, global organizations, digital innovation companies, NGOs, and academia.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, recently warned that as many as 50 million more people could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic unless urgent action is taken. "The disruption caused by the pandemic risks setting back the progress made towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," said Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organizing Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). "Innovation is key to controlling the damage caused by COVID-19 and bringing us back to speed towards a more sustainable future. We must double up on our efforts in utilizing innovation to address humanitarian challenges and offer solutions to the unprecedented challenges caused by this crisis."
Al-Olama added that, since its inception in 2017, the Global Prosperity Initiative has reflected the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who is a firm believer in applying the power of innovation to solve the world's challenges. "I am confident that the creativity of this year's finalists will further advance this vision – bringing life-changing solutions to those that need them most," Al-Olama said.
The finalists of the Sustainable and Healthy Food for All challenge are ColdHubs, IXON, Xilinat, Stixfresh, and Nilus, who effectively address the issues that fast-growing urban populations face in accessing healthy and sustainable food.
The Climate Change challenge proposed solutions that facilitate a low-carbon circular economy through smart use of existing resources. The finalists of this challenge include AlgiKnit, Aquacycl, Queen of Raw, Plastics for Change, and Biocellection.
Each of the shortlisted solutions within the Innovation for Peace and Justice challenge offered a novel idea that helps refugees and displaced people access affordable, quality services that are essential to their safety and wellbeing; these include Peripheral Vision International (PVI), ID2020, PeaceTech Lab, Simbi Foundation, and Aiyin.
The final challenge, Innovation for Inclusive Trade, showcased innovators that were selected for their ability to support rural communities in accessing new supply chains and markets to create better livelihoods. The finalists within this challenge are Agricycle Global, Fantine, POKET, Takachar, and ChapChap.