What is the vision of the Global Makers Challenge?

The Global Maker Challenge is an online open-innovation platform that offers an opportunity for ‘makers’ and innovators to connect and collaborate, wherever they are in the world, to solve real-world problems affecting people's lives. Leveraging manufacturing innovation to provide viable and deployable solutions for the world’s most pressing issues, it invites world-leading manufacturers and organisations to adopt challenges, provide mentorship, and help solve real-world problems.

What is the Global Makers Challenge?

The Global Maker Challenge is one of two programmes facilitated through the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity. The Initiative was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in honour of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai, for his commitment in transforming the United Arab Emirates.

The Global Maker Challenge invites innovative start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses to submit solutions to solve real-world problems. The Challenge is vertically divided into four themes, Sustainable and Healthy Food for All, Innovation for Inclusive Trade, Innovation for Peace and Justice and Climate Change. Applicants are invited to enter their solutions to the challenges through an easy online application process. The four Challenge Winners will gain valuable recognition, global exposure, and mentorship if successful.

Who are the strategic partners for the Global Makers Challenge?

The ten UN entities that have partnered with the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity are:

  • the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
  • the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • the World Food Programme (WFP)
  • the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

These organisations have developed four themes surrounding major challenges faced by the least developed and developing countries. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Solve is working with the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity to bring together problem-solvers and innovators to work with stakeholders and technical experts to design and manage each challenge.

What are the key dates for the Global Makers Challenge?

  • The Global Maker Challenge was launched on 2 November, 2019, at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries in Abu Dhabi.
  • Submission Deadline on 31 January 2020.
  • All submissions will be reviewed by expert judges throughout February - April 2020.
  • Pitch event will take place on the 22 April 2020.
  • Senior representatives from the shortlisted submissions will be invited to a pitch session.
  • The final winners will be announced on the 22 April 2020.

Who can apply for the Global Makers Challenge and what type of solutions are sought after?

Applications to the Global Maker Challenge is open to all business model stages. It is open to any start-up, innovator or business that has a proof of concept and prototype for a viable, technically feasible and desirable solution that promises a strong impact on the identified challenge. Please click here for the four challenges.

Is there a fee to apply for the Global Makers Challenge?

No, applications to the Global Maker Challenge are entirely free of charge.

Can I enter more than one challenge?

Yes, you may submit separate applications for each of the four themes.

What do I win if my application is successful?

Each of the four Challenge Winners can win prizes to the value of up to US$250,000, including cash prizes, mentorship.

Is there an awards presentation event and when?

The Global Maker Challenge winners will be announced on the 22 April 2020 at Hannover Messe, in Germany.

Who are the judges for the Global Makers Challenge?

Applications will be reviewed by expert judges drawn from our community of world leading manufacturers, innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs, governments and NGOs, technologists and philanthropists.

Will the IP of my product remain with me?

The Intellectual Property (IP) will remain exclusively with the owner.

Will my project details remain confidential?

All submissions will be open and the project descriptions published on the MBR website, however part of your application remains confidential. Should you feel that some information is too sensitive to share we advise you to contact us via email here.

Who can I contact if I have questions or need help with my application?

Please email us at info@makingprosperity.com

Who are the Organisers for the Global Maker Challenges?

The Global Maker Challenge is one of two programmes facilitated through the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity which is an initiative of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS).

What is the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit?

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) is a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). GMIS is the world’s first cross-industry platform designed to create a universal consensus by unifying governments, businesses, and civil society to take a transformational approach towards shaping the future of manufacturing. It aims to promote a roadmap for future development to echo the evolution in international trade and global best practices.

What are the Terms and Conditions of applying for the Global Makers Challenge?

Please click here to view our T&Cs.

According to which criteria will the applications be judged?

Solutions will be reviewed by our experts and judges using the following criteria:

  • Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth.
  • Potential for Impact: The planned implementation of the solution has the potential to impact lives.
  • Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially.
  • Scalability: The solution can be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people.
  • Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge.

Will I have to pay the travel costs for the pitching session?

No. All flight and accommodation costs if any for shortlisted companies participating in the pitching session as well as finalists for the award ceremony will be covered by the MBR Initiative for Global Prosperity.

What are “Makers”?

The Global Maker Challenge is a collaborative competition for start-ups and entrepreneurs to solve real-world problems through innovation. In this context, ‘making’ refers to the things our world needs through modern, sustainable manufacturing and industrialisation.

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