Dubai, United Arab EmiratesJuly 27, 2020The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity (the Global Prosperity Initiative), today announced the 20 finalists for the Global Maker Challenge who will compete for prizes and mentorship worth up to US$1 million when they 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, a 200% increase from last year's inaugural cohort. Solutions from over 148 countries were received, of which 18% came in from Least Developed Countries. This year’s global challenges centered around four themes: Sustainable and Healthy Food for All, Climate Change, Innovation for Inclusive Trade, and Innovation for Peace and Justice.

The 20 finalists, comprising five innovators per theme, were assessed and shortlisted in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SOLVE initiative (MIT SOLVE) and an esteemed jury of 47 globally renowned subject matter and innovation experts from UN agencies, global organisations, 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. This followed a report by The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), that the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing down overall efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), putting years of progress at risk.

The shortlisted finalists have harnessed novel technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, smart materials or cloud-based networks to design affordable solutions that are highly scalable, and can help disadvantaged communities around the world to create new opportunities for sustainable development.

Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) said: “The disruption caused by the pandemic risks setting back the progress made towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 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 utilising innovation to address humanitarian challenges and offer solutions to the unprecedented challenges caused by this crisis.

“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 our 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.”

The Virtual Pitches and award ceremony are expected to unite an audience of social impact enthusiasts from academia, investment companies, incubators, accelerators, and the judging panel who will witness the finalist pitch their solutions, high-level panel debates, and expert-led presentations. The discussions will focus on developing a path towards overcoming setbacks caused by the pandemic and ensuring the SDGs are placed back on track to achieving the 2030 targets.

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.

Lisa Mcauley, CEO of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance said: “Although the coronavirus has changed the world, the global challenges we faced before the pandemic remain, and in some cases, are now being compounded by the virus. Nurturing innovation through initiatives such as the Global Maker Challenge is vital if we are to minimise the negative impact faced by the world’s most vulnerable people.

“The finalists that have been selected are a testament that there is still hope for millions of people suffering from the effects of environmental or human-made problems. Their ideas represent an inspiring blend of creativity and practical knowledge that enable scalable, affordable solutions that will improve the lives of millions living in marginalised communities all over the world.”

Cohort 2 of the Global Maker Challenge 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. The Virtual Pitch Event will be live streamed across the Initiative's social platforms and on the following link: www.makingprosperity.com. Participants can register to attend the Global Maker Challenge Award Ceremony at http://www.makingprosperity.com/global-maker-challenge-award-ceremony. The programme agenda is available to view on: www.makingprosperity.com/agenda/.

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Notes to the Editor:

Media Collateral

Photo Captions:

Image 1 – Badr Al Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit
Image 2 – ColdHubs from Sustainable and Healthy Food for All
Image 3 – POKET - Innovation for Inclusive Trade
Image 4 – Simbi Foundation - Innovation for Peace and Justice
Image 5 - Biocellection - Climate Change
Image 6 - Xiliant - Sustainable and Healthy Food for All
Image 7 - ChapChap Application - Innovation for Inclusive Trade
Image 8 - Aiyin - Innovation for Peace and Justice
Image 9 – AlgiKnit - Climate Change

About the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity:

A gift from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, to the world – The Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Initiative for Global Prosperity is an ambitious and impactful worldwide extension of the UAE’s own transformational vision, built on four core values: resilience, community, harmony, and dignity. It combines the Global Maker Challenge – an online open-innovation platform for ‘makers’ and innovators to solve specific real-world challenges, and the Global Prosperity Award – a prestigious global accolade that recognises and rewards social innovation brought by manufacturing for the betterment of humanity. The Initiative brings together companies, startups and entrepreneurs, governments and NGOs to create an ecosystem designed to enable new businesses to be built, new jobs to be created, and new solutions to be unlocked in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

To learn more, please visit www.makingprosperity.com and follow the Initiative on Twitter: @Make4Prosperity, Instagram: @make4prosperity, LinkedIn: Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity, Facebook: @Make4Prosperity, and YouTube: Make4Prosperity.

Cohort 2 Challenge Themes:

Sustainable and Healthy Food for All: How can urban populations increase access to healthy and sustainable foods, despite rapid urbanisation?

The finalists are:

Innovation for Inclusive Trade: How can rural communities increase their access to new supply chains and markets in order to create better livelihoods for themselves?

The finalists are:

Innovation for Peace and Justice: How can displaced populations access affordable and quality services that are essential to their safety and wellbeing?

The finalists are:

Climate Change: How can communities move towards a low-carbon circular economy by eliminating waste and utilising existing resources?

The finalists are:

Press Contact: 
Reethu Thachil
Communications Manager
M Three Marcomms LLC

Press Office for:
Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit
Mohammed Bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity
+971 58 84 76870/ reethu@m3media.com

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