Prototypes for Humanity: Ideas to save the world at COP28

The Prototypes for Humanity project involves 710 academic institutions from 108 countries. 

With world leaders, scientific experts and climate professionals descending on Dubai this week to participate in the COP28 climate summit, thousands of professors, researchers, post and undergraduate students have chosen to unveil a raft of innovations that could contribute to environmental action. 

Shortlisted Prototypes for Humanity come from a wealth of highly respected colleges, including Oxford and Cambridge, and UCL universities in the UK, Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Princeton and Stanford in the US. Work has been on display at Emirates Towers in Dubai on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th November. An awards ceremony will now take place on Saturday 2nd December, at which $100,000 in prize money will be handed out to successful projects in five key categories. 




While not all  the concepts are focused on the environment, many do aim to help mitigate the climate crisis. These include CompCap Tech, a development by the University of Edinburgh which captures carbon at the tailpipe to reduce harmful emissions, and Algreen Ltd, an Imperial College London design that uses bio-based polyurethanes to replace toxic petrol-plastics. Imperial is also behind ALGAEWAVE, which uses sound and noise pollution to fuel biomass production, while a team from Bournemouth University are presenting Wastly – roof tiles made from recycled materials that can help regulate heat and humidity. 

Looking at global innovations beyond the UK, standout projects including Beyond the Coffee Cup, a Mexican development that uses old coffee farming waste to make eco-products, Potato Upcycling, where by old crisps and chips can be turned into bioplastics and chemicals, Kloudtrack, a real-time weather monitoring system aimed at protecting vulnerable communities, and Plad – an affordable, eco-friendly sanitary pad made from plantain fibres. 

Find out more about Prototypes for Humanity and information on how to participate in the future.

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