Designing Solutions for Poverty Competition
OVERVIEW & ELIGIBILITY
The 3rd Annual Designing Solutions for Poverty Competition, hosted by the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, is a stand-alone award that will go to the individual or team that best harnesses an innovative idea to make a social impact. The award is open to the entire UCI community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members.
SUBMISSIONS & PROCESSES
Applicants must first submit their idea through our online portal. We welcome any idea with a social impact element. Ideas may be early stage. Applicants do not need to be part of a team to submit their idea.
Ideas submitted by FEBRUARY 10 will be eligible for mentoring and partnership support through MARCH 15. The final deadline to submit ideas is MARCH 15.
Applicants and community members are invited to attend the Social Entrepreneurship Breakfast on January 26, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.
NOTE: Applicants who are also entering the Beall New Venture Competition must submit concept papers by January 30 and final pitch decks by May 5.
All applicants are invited to attend a “Defining Your Impact” Workshop on April 24, 2017 at 5:30 p.m.
Finalists will be invited to present at a private event on FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2017.
The award will go the team that best connects an innovative and sustainable solution to a poverty-related social challenge.
Concept papers and presentations will be judged by a separate panel of judges on the following criteria:
- INNOVATION: The extent to which the idea presented is a novel, innovative, or creative solution for the proposed problem. (40% of overall score)
- POTENTIAL FOR IMPACT: The extent to which the proposed project addresses a pressing problem, and the extent to which your team provides sufficient statistics and research for the reader to understand the problem. (20% of overall score)
- VIABILITY: The extent to which the proposed project appears viable, given the project description, the team’s qualifications, and the team’s understanding of the market or community needs. (15% of overall score)
- SUSTAINABILITY: The extent to which the proposed product or service can be financially sustained. (15% of overall score)
- QUALITY: The extent to which the proposal is professional, persuasive, well written, and well organized. (10% of overall score).
Ideas should be in line with the following categories (from Big Ideas):
- Art & Social Change: Create an innovative arts project that meaningfully engages with issues of advocacy, justice, and community-building.
- Energy & Resource Alternatives: Encourage the adoption of energy and resource alternatives that are sustainable and have the potential for broad impact.
- Financial Inclusion: Propose novel products, services, tools or mechanisms that address unmet needs of the financially underserved, or help extend existing services.
- Food Systems: Encourage the development of innovative solutions that address challenges and lead to improvements in the global food systems.
- Global Health: Develop an action-oriented interdisciplinary project that would alleviate a global health concern among low-resource communities.
- Hardware for Good: Describe plans to develop an innovative hardware technology, or design a technology-led solution that uses an existing hardware/product in a novel way.
- Improving Student Life: Develop an initiative to improve the UCI student experience or that encourages students to engage and improve the surrounding community.
- Information Technology for Society: Describe an innovative project that would demonstrate the capacity of IT to address a major societal issue.
Grant funding of up to $20,000 will be awarded to the selected idea(s)/businesses to be taken to the next level.
- Using bauxite, an aluminum-rich ore, to remediate groundwater fluoride through a community-scale batch absorption process. Eliminating the costly and wasteful process of refining bauxite into activated alumina- a commonly utilized defluoridation approach- reduces the annual per capita cost of treated water significantly, from $50/person/year to ~$1/person/year.
- Seeking to provide affordable point of care diagnostics using the common method for creating microfluidic devices. With materials such as Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and glass/plastic, it is possible to modify previous designs that would allow cheaper and faster diagnostic of diseases like Tuberculosis.
- A portable solar energy stove that can be used at night or in poor sunlight with very high potential cooking temperatures. Utilizing the liquid-to-solid phase change to store heat enables higher energy density then sensible heat alone, potentially reducing the cost of heat storage significantly.
- Provides off-grid, self contained, micro PV powered solution, complete with an anti-bacterial reverse osmosis system, vaccine cooler, auxillary power supply, spotlight, needle dispensary, and collapsable IV pole. The solution is made fully portable on two 6″ off road wheels and customizable to accommodate any scenario.
- Creating a new bridge of hope connecting the public to the homeless person: a one-on-one, face-to-face relationship with the homeless person, giving each homeless individual a new face and the tools to stimulate a public response and achieve full recovery off the streets.
NEWS AND UPDATES ON THE COMPETITION
American Bazaar Online (June 26, 2015): “Indian American doctoral student at Berkeley Katya Cherukumilli wins top prize for designing way to reduce poverty in India” (link)
Daily Pilot (June 11, 2015): “How to solve poverty? UCI contest winners have have innovative ideas” (link)
OC Register (June 10, 2015): “UCI Contest draws proposals to alleviate poverty” (link)
Daily Pilot (May 8, 2015): “Blum Center seeks poverty-alleviating contest submissions” (link)
OC Register (May 7, 2015): “UC Irvine offers prize for poverty solutions” (link)