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Shortlisted candidates for global prize announced

The PLuS Alliance has announced its shortlisted candidates for the inaugural PLuS Alliance Prize.

These selected candidates are leading the charge in changing the world for the better, through innovation and leadership in research and education.

The PLuS Alliance Prize of US$50,000 will be awarded to two applicants with submissions that address a globally-significant issue; make a direct and positive impact on the world; and help, or has the potential to help, communities globally.

 For this inaugural prize, students, staff and alumni from Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney were eligible to nominate in each of the categories of research innovation and education innovation.

 The prize is one of the many initiatives from the PLuS Alliance that works to make a positive and lasting contribution to global innovation. Established in February 2016, the PLuS Alliance focuses on building interdisciplinary collaborative projects in education and research in areas such as sustainability, global health, social justice, and technology and innovation.

The shortlisted candidates selected for the inaugural PLuS Alliance Prize are:

Education innovation:

  • Arludo: Empowering teachers and inspiring students with mobile technology. Arludo creates interactive and engaging STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) games that make learning exciting
  • ASPIRE: Changing lives by degrees. A social justice program that takes a unique approach in addressing the educational disadvantage within Australian society
  • Extreme psychiatry: A teaching innovation, whose model has been refined annually over 12 years, in response to iterative learner and educator feedback
  • PlayMed: Bridging the gap between student and doctor with serious games. A novel online experiential role playing game designed to educate medical students through experience-based learning in a virtual hospital
  • SolarSPELL: Solar powered educational learning library for remote, unconnected regions. A portable, ruggedised, solar-powered digital library that broadcasts a webpage, over a WiFi hotspot, with open-access educational content

Research innovation:

  • Early warning of hypertension and shock in pregnant women with the novel CRADLE device: A handheld device which measures blood pressure and pulse, detecting hypertension and shock with an early-warning traffic light system
  • Hot-wiring microbial communities for enhanced biogas production: The use of microorganisms to convert coal, food, agricultural and sewage waste to gas is an upcoming, innovative technology in nations across the wealth spectrum because of its simplicity and sustainability
  • Non-injectable naloxone to prevent heroin/opioid overdose deaths: Worldwide, 106,000 people die from opioid overdose annually. Take-home naloxone is now a widely accepted public health strategy, but its sole availability as injection has obstructed implementation. This research addresses that issue  
  • Pioneers of silicon quantum computing: Large-scale quantum computation is described as the space race of the 21st century. It has the potential to address global challenges, including climate change and disease, by enabling the design of new catalysts and medicines at a molecular level
  • The new science of green manufacturing: Recycling science to enable global industries to safely utilise toxic and complex wastes as low-cost alternatives to virgin raw materials and fossil fuels

Professor Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor, UNSW Sydney, said, “I am delighted that we have this PLuS Alliance Prize scheme underway to recognise outstanding innovation. We look forward to announcing the first winners and to recognising talent and impact in future years.”

Paul Ramadge, Managing Director of the PLuS Alliance, said, “We’ve been highly impressed with the calibre of entries put forward for this year’s prize. There has been some incredible innovation highlighted, from social enterprise to tech and environmental breakthroughs. We are looking forward to unveiling the winners in September.” 

The award ceremony for the PLuS Alliance Prize winners will be held at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit in London on Sunday 3 September 2017.

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