A violin made from silk, an app that puts an end to queuing in shops and a medical device set to transform the lives of Parkinson’s sufferers are just some of the ground-breaking entries, shortlisted as part of the Mayor of London’s International Student Innovation Awards 2016.
The International Student Innovation Awards was set up to highlight the work of the city’s international students and also to provide some financial help to assist students in taking their innovation to the next stage of development. It was devised by London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company and is also supported by the UK Government’s Education is GREAT campaign and the British Council, Cambridge English, IDP Education and The PIE.
Hundreds of entries, from 49 different countries and 17 London universities, have been received, which have now been whittled down to a final shortlist of 15.
An event crowning ‘London’s most innovative international student’, who will receive £10,000 to kick start their business, will be held on 2nd November at Central Saint Martins, Granary Square.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “The incredible range of talent on show in these awards celebrates the best of the capital and clearly demonstrates that London is open to talent and ideas from across the globe. We need to do all we can to ensure that London remains the best and most welcoming destination for international students.”
Entrants include Luca Alessandrini, from Italy, who has made a violin out of a mixture of spider silk and resin. When the violin is played, the spider silk vibrates the instrument’s casing, emitting a sound which can be customised by tweaking the exact blend of the material. The combination of silk and resin produces a unique tone and can be altered by blending different quantities of the raw materials. The new material could allow the acoustics of instruments and sound equipment to be customised with a degree of control that is difficult with other modern materials such as carbon fibre.
Indian student Mustafa Khanwala has invented an app that eliminates the need to queue at the till in shops. The app allows in-store shoppers to pick up a product, scan the barcode with their phone, pay with their phone and simply walk out with it. The technology also ensures that if you try and leave without paying, the alarms will immediately sound.
While Chinese student Yin Fan Denis Huen has developed a smart sensing medical device which can be worn on your arm. It can detect, and then control, abnormal movements so that Parkinson’s sufferers can do everyday things like drink a cup of tea or hold a knife and fork.
Ideas and innovations submitted have been evaluated by a prestigious panel of judges including Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity and CEO of Immunocore, Eileen Burbidge, Partner at London venture capital firm Passion Capital and Chair of Tech City UK and Lord Bilimoria, who is also Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer.
Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea, a cross-bench peer and President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs, added: “This initiative celebrates the very best of London – demonstrating the city is an inclusive place that welcomes business, craves innovation and is genuinely open to people from every part of the world.
“International students bring in £3 billion to London’s economy every year, and help to make London what it is: the home to the best in design, creative industries, technology, legal services, architecture, shopping, cuisine and entertainment.
“London’s universities are among the very best in the world – two of the top ten best universities in the world are London universities – and it is vital that we offer those students the very best opportunities to make an impact in their chosen field.”
Dr Eliot Forster, Chair of MedCity, said: “These awards, which have unearthed a wealth of innovation in our universities, help cement London’s reputation for forward-thinking problem-solving science and entrepreneurial spirit. By supporting the creative and entrepreneurial endeavour of students it will enable them to develop and take their ideas to market which could change lives for the better and improve the healthcare landscape.”
Eileen Burbidge said: “London’s world-leading universities are bursting with some of the brightest minds who are developing businesses which will revolutionise our lives. Students coming to London from all over the world bring fresh ideas and thinking, and their talent should be nurtured and encouraged as they seek to build the next generation of global companies.”
London welcomes more international students than any other city in the world who come to study at the city’s world class universities. With over 100,000 international students from over 200 different nations, London is an open and supportive city for those looking to make the capital their home.
The 15 finalists include:
A violin which uses the vibrating qualities of spiders silk
Using waste chicken feathers to make water repellent paint
Using waste material to build houses which can then easily be redesigned
A London bus stop designed to assist blind people and partially sighted
A womenswear collection which can morph into different pieces of clothing
An app where you go to a chefs home to experience their cooking
A shoe that uses street mapping to enable blind and partially sighted people to navigate busy city streets.
An app that allows you to control drones like waving a magic wand
An app that allows you to quickly sell second hand clothes from your wardrobe
An app that stops queuing in shops allowing you to immediately pay for goods and services
A device which strengthens the limbs of children with muscular problems
Yin Fan Denis Huen
A device which stops the tremors in Parkinsons sufferers
An app that detects whether a new born baby is suffering from asphyxia
Mei Ran Abellona
A device that preserves a vaccine during its last mile of transportation where many normally perish
A smart amputee socket which can be adjusted via an app to suit the individual’s needs