Global Grad Show unveils largest and most diverse edition…..

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

Global Grad Show unveils largest and most diverse edition showcasing 150 game-changing projects from 114 universities across 53 countries

  • The 7th edition of Global Grad Show is the most diverse yet with a record 2,600 entries from students in 464 universities across 70 countries received
  • International online showcase launches today featuring 150 projects by 212 students of which 55% are female
  • MENA Grad Show, a part of Global Grad Show, received 300 applications from 41 universities across the region.
  • The 2nd edition of  MENA Grad Show will showcase 60 projects from students in 29 universities across 10 countries, with 80% of the 78 participating students being female
  • Ideas echo collective concerns with mental and physical health, food supply, city living, ethics and community welfare – highlighting academia’s critical role in solving them    

DUBAI, UAE; November 8, 2021: From Bhutan to Peru, from the US to Uganda; today sees the unveiling of 150 highly innovative academic projects to improve lives, support communities and protect the planet. Part of the largest edition of Global Grad Show to date, the shortlisted entries, selected amongst 2,600 submissions from 70 countries, underline key shared concerns internationally, from infant care to net-zero cities, and illustrate the scale of the efforts – and combined approach – necessary to address them.

Now in its seventh year, Global Grad Show is an initiative by the Art Dubai Group, held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, a member of Dubai Counci, that supports the world’s most promising academic talent in the field of social and environmental impact. It has received applications from graduates in 464 universities (a 70% increase from 2020), with entries including returning institutions, from Harvard to Oxford, to first-time applicants from new countries including Jamaica, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Congo and Brunei.

Several themes have emerged in this year’s edition, pointing to the shared concerns of graduates, with this being the first Global Grad Show to take place since the world starts to emerge from the pandemic. These include projects in healthcare and wellbeing (44 entries) and safety and emergency (25 entries), while future-readiness becomes a key common denominator among production and consumption (41 entries), community and inclusion (30 entries) and education and awareness (21 entries).

The 150 featured submissions, which will be showcased in an interactive digital online year-long exhibition launching today include:

  • An AI-enabled drug discovery system specialised in cardiovascular disease. University of Cambridge, UK
  • A solar-powered robot that lives in the desert to plant seeds. Dubai Institute of Design & Innovation, UAE
  • A ball that can detect sign of life in areas affected by natural disasters. Zhejiang Univerisity, China
  • An anti-greenwashing browser that blocks content from unsustainable brands. Royal College of Art, UK
  • A wireless sensory device to help premature babies bond with their parents. Uni. of Arts Linz, Austria
  • An exoskeleton hand for stroke rehabilitation patients. Santos Dumont Institute, Brazil

Among the Global Grad Show initiatives is the MENA Grad Show. Launched in 2020, it  showcases the best social impact innovations in the fields of science, design and architecture, by students from universities in the region. This year’s physical exhibition will feature 60 projects by 78 students from 29 universities across 10 countries. From the selected projects, 27 are from UAE univerisities and  80% of students are female, confirming the impact of regional government initiatives to incentivise innovation and entrepreneursip led education among women. Some of the highlight projects include:

  • A device to produce organic super-food at home and. Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, UAE
  • An app to organise the routine of dementia patients and offer therapy. American University in Cairo, Egypt
  • A e-reader app to assist dyslexics with reading and comprehension. American University of Sharjah, UAE
  • A home filter to reduce the release of microplastics in the ocean. Middle East Technical University, Turkey
  • A magnetic skin to allow people with quadriplegia to control their surroundings. Univeristy of Jeddah, KSA

Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, Director of Global Grad Show, said: “In the wide spectrum of what innovation means and does, Global Grad Show projects sit at a very distinct position: their primary objective is to create positive net results to the world, either by solving existing problems or preventing new ones. When we look at the volume and quality of these projects across the world, it’s possible to believe in a scenario where their impact outpaces complex global challenges. That alone is a very strong reason to support young entrepreneurial minds working inside universities. There’s probably no group better equipped to build positive change from the ground up.

We have grown the programme consistently, thanks to the long-term support of our partners Dubai Culture, A.R.M. Holding, Dubai Design District (d3) and the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, a member of Dubai Council. We are extremely excited to be opening our most far-reaching edition ever today. ”

All applying students will have the chance to join Global Grad Show’s entrepreneurship programme this year, a 4-month development route to bring venture-building thinking and opportunities to applicants who want to take their projects forward. Since 2019, it has welcomed over 300 participants – a figure that has tripled for this year’s cohort alone. The expectation is to increase the programme’s output significantly this year, through partnerships and more investment opportunities. A.R.M. Holding for example, the first Global Grad Show partner to pledge funds for startups from the programme (a USD 2.7 million fund over 10 years, launched in 2019) has recently renewed its commitment to support participants to advance their projects.

The MENA Grad Show physical exhibition will open to public between November 8-13, 2021, as part of Dubai Design Week, supported by Dubai Design District (d3). Simultaneously the Global Grad Show international showcase of 150 projects will be unveiled online through an interactive digital exhibition at .


About Global Grad Show:

Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group, is a programme for graduates in universities across the world whose research and ideas offer solutions to help solve major social and environmental issues. Launched in 2015 and now in its seventh edition, Global Grad Show brings together academics from over 70 countries and 600 universities, from the world’s most prominent academic institutions to local colleges in developing markets, in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to urban design and data sciences.

Each year, participating graduate projects offer audiences the opportunity to enter a universe of academic ingenuity rarely seen outside the campus, through the work of young minds addressing complex issues around the world through their social impact innovations.

Global Grad Show celebrates its innovators through a yearly showcase (held physically until 2019 and online since 2020) and year-round activations supporting graduates and professors on complementing angles: knowledge exchange, entrepreneurship opportunities and international exposure.

Part of Global Grad Show is the entrepreneurship programme, which is open to all applicants and offers startup-building training, mentorship and network access to help graduates advance their projects towards implementation. In 2019, A.R.M. Holding pledged AED 10 million for a 10-year fund to support programme participants with seed capital to advance their development and to accelerate their progress towards market launch.

One of the programme’s new initiatives is the MENA Grad Show, launched in 2020. The physical exhibition celebrates academic talent from the region, showcasing the best social impact innovation projects in the fields of technology, science and design, as part of Dubai Design Week, sponsored by d3. Visit for further information. 

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority:

On 8th March 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). The mandate of the Authority is to serve as a dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature in the Emirate of Dubai, and to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. Dubai Culture focuses on establishing Dubai as a regional and global centre for creativity, and also seeks to enhance the city’s cultural identity in order to drive the creative economy. The Authority strives to enhance the quality of life for Dubai residents to help achieve a key pillar of the Dubai Plan 2021 objectives, which is to create a city of happy, creative, and empowered people. Under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, the Authority has played an integral role in reinforcing Dubai’s position as a vibrant global centre for creativity, and in enhancing the city’s cultural identity.

About A.R.M. Holding 

A.R.M. Holding is a private investment firm and multi-focused economic enabler that creates synergies and opportunities through local, regional and global investments. At the core of the company’s business strategy is its commitment to impactful investments, actively employing its resources to advance society and empower its players to pursue innovative solutions and inspire a better future. It collaborates with like-minded organizations and leverages its network and partnerships to create meaningful relationships and growth opportunities.

A.R.M. Holding’s investments are focused on tech-enabled industries and sophisticated technologies around the world that demonstrate strong potential for long-term positive social impact. It also holds equity stakes in some of Dubai’s foremost companies in a variety of sectors including Banking, Telecom, FMCG, Real Estate, and Hospitality. 

A.R.M. Holding has contributed to society with significant investments in numerous industries and versatile projects. In 2021, it became the first corporate patron of the Dubai Collection, the first institutional art collection in the emirate of Dubai. 

To learn more about A.R.M. Holding, please visit:

About Dubai Design District (d3)

Dubai Design District (d3) is a global creative ecosystem dedicated to design, fashion, architecture, art and retail. In line with Dubai’s position as the leading business destination for the region and beyond, d3 is created as the first-of-its-kind creative ecosystem that enables people and businesses to grow and co-create, whilst simultaneously providing a strong platform for creativity. Strategically located in the heart of Dubai, d3 is one of the city’s lifestyle and business destinations that challenges thousands of people to rethink the regular.

With state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to meet the needs of the industry and a business-friendly framework, the community offers creative talent the tools to drive innovation that permeates through various areas of Dubai’s economy, further reinforcing Dubai’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design.

d3 is a cutting-edge retail destination with over 40 retailers offering a variety of multi-brand boutiques, fashion brands, art galleries and showrooms. In addition, d3 is home to leading companies and talent including architects, interior designers, photography studios, product and fashion designers. The Design Quarter, the central component in the development of d3, features world-class offices, studios, showrooms and retail spaces spread across the district.

Some of the region’s most popular and sought-after events take place in d3 and attract international artists and audiences to cultural exhibitions and gatherings such as Dubai Design Week and Sole DXB. The destination also regularly hosts a roster of industry talks, workshops and educational programming, accessible to people of all ages.

d3 is also home to the cutting-edge business incubator – in5 – that aims to support the fashion and design industries by offering students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to transform their ideas into successful commercial ventures. This ecosystem is further supported by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, the region’s only university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation.

For more information, please visit:

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