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Global Grand Challenges Competition 2017
The Royal Academy of Engineering are inviting 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 February, 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.
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 here.
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
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Each team may have no more than six and no less than four undergraduate student
members (not graduating before Spring 2017).
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
February Workshop
 If not based in London, the Academy will cover the cost of economy travel from the
team’s university location to London for the two-day workshop in February, 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 in April
 If not based in London, the Academy will cover the cost of same-day economy travel from
the team’s university location 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
 If not based in London, the Academy will cover the cost of same-day economy travel from
the team’s university location 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
 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 to Washington DC, and student accommodation close to the
venue for four nights to enable them attend the Summit.
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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
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University
Names, email addresses and disciplines of all team members
A plan outlining an initial idea to address one of the Grand Challenges for Engineering
Details of two team mentors from the university
Please submit all applications by 27 January 2017 to [email protected]
Successful applicants will be notified by 30 January 2017
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