The Royal Academy of Engineering is inviting UK university teams to participate in the Global Grand Challenges Competition 2017; a seven-month programme of challenge-led innovation, design and business development, culminating in the opportunity for five successful teams to attend the Global Grand Challenges Summit in Washington DC.

Nominated teams of undergraduate students will take part in the two-day interactive workshop in March, facilitated by UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), where they will be confronted with a global challenge and tasked to develop a solution that engineering expertise can address in an innovative and effective way. This solution must contribute to sustainable development and reduction of poverty in developing countries. 

Following this preparatory workshop, the university teams will work independently to develop focussed design solutions to their global challenges in preparation for a competition showcase hosted by the Academy in April 2017. During the Competition Showcase, students will pitch their design solutions to a panel of experts, and five teams will be chosen to continue to the next round.

The winning teams will go on to develop full business proposals for their design solutions, supported by a Business Development Bootcamp in June, and then will have the opportunity to represent the United Kingdom at the Global Grand Challenges Summit in Washington DC in July, competing against teams from the United States and China. 

The National Academy of Engineering is hosting this Summit on July 19-20, 2017 at the George Washington University, with the student competition day on July 18 and an opening reception that evening. This is the third in a series of global summits jointly sponsored by the three national academies of engineering in the UK, the US (NAE), and China (Chinese Academy of Engineering). The first was held in London in 2013 and the second in Beijing in 2015. Speakers in the summits to date have included Bill Gates, Jack Ma, will.i.am, Dr Craig Venter, Prof Frances Arnold, Prof Jeffrey Sachs, and Facebook Building 8 lead Dr Regina Dugan. Video footage of the London summit can be found on RAEng.tv.

Competing teams will be invited to attend the entire Summit, participating in discussions about global cooperation on engineering innovation and education to address the Grand Challenges for Engineering with over 400 engineering leaders and 400 young emerging engineers from the UK, the US, and China.

Guidelines

Teams

  • Each team may have no more than six and no less than four UK undergraduate student members.
  • Universities may nominate more than one team. It is up to the universities to decide the criteria for team selection.
  • We are not expecting teams to have a strategy or prototype prepared prior to the competition.
  • All applying teams must designate a team leader who is required to be from an engineering programme, but students from other disciplines are strongly encouraged to be part of the team.
  • Universities are expected to support their teams academically during the pitch development phases.

 

Costs

Workshop: 9-10 March 2017

  • If not based in London, the Academy will cover the cost of economy travel from the team’s university location in the UK to London for the two-day workshop in March, and student accommodation for the night of the first day.
  • If the team’s university location is more than 200 miles’ distance from London, the Academy will also cover student accommodation for the night prior to the workshop.

 

Competition Showcase: 5 April 2017

  • If not based in London, the Academy will cover the cost of same-day economy travel from the team’s university location in the UK to the one-day Competition Showcase in April.
  • If the team’s university location is more than 200 miles’ distance from London, the Academy will also cover student accommodation for the night prior to the workshop.

 

Business Development Bootcamp: June 2017

  • If not based in London, the Academy will cover the cost of same-day economy travel from the team’s university location in the UK to the one-day Business Development Bootcamp in June.
  • If the team’s university location is more than 200 miles’ distance from London, the Academy will also cover student accommodation for the night prior to the workshop.

 

Global Grand Challenges 2017, Student Day and Summit: 18-20 July 2017

  • For the five successful teams selected to represent the UK at the Global Grand Challenges Student Day Competition, the Academy will cover the cost of economy travel from the team’s university location in the UK to Washington DC, and student accommodation close to the venue for four nights to enable them attend the Summit.
  • The Academy will also cover travel and accommodation costs for one mentor to travel with each team.
  • Team members and mentors will be expected to organise their own visas if required.
  • Any additional costs are to be covered by the universities or by the students and mentors.

 

Applications: new deadline, 19 February 2017

We recognise that the competition was launched around the time of the Christmas break, which may have made it difficult for the information to be circulated and for teams to be formed in time for the initial deadline for applications on 27 January.

We are therefore extending the deadline to 19 February, to allow every UK university the opportunity to enter this competition.

We are accepting and reviewing applications on a rolling basis until the programme is full, and we encourage teams to apply as early as possible to ensure they are considered. 

Please submit all applications to rebecca.gaitch@raeng.org.uk.

Successful applicants will be notified by 24 February 2017.

Application form (149.64 KB)