Expo Live University Innovation Program 2018 (Up to AED 25,000)

Expo Live University Innovation Program 2018 (Up to AED 25,000)

Deadline: October 15, 2018

Applications are open for the Expo Live University Innovation Program 2018. The Program incentivises creative thinking, problem-solving and collaboration between university students to solve problems worth solving. It awards grants so that innovative and ingenious concepts, relevant to the UAE and the region, can be accelerated to validation and prototyping.

The programme helps students generate viable solutions to real-world problems, either by supporting research and development or the creation of commercial applications. All solutions must be aligned with one of Expo 2020 Dubai’s three sub-themes: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.


Expo Live is an innovation and partnership programme launched by Expo 2020 Dubai to fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving our planet. On the journey to 2020, the programme will deploy a combination of grants, challenge prizes and knowledge sharing events focused on the universal drivers of progress: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

With annual submissions cycles opening at the beginning of each academic year, the programme aims to create a grassroots movement of innovation and build a community of socially charged students motivated to address global problems relevant to our region.

The programme will offer prizes ranging from AED 25,000 to AED 50,000. Structured as a further research and/or development grant, no individual cash prizes will be offered. Funding levels will depend on the stage of maturity and scalability of innovations, and the extent of their potential impact.


  • Prizes range from AED 10,000 to AED 25,000 and are offered as further research and/or development grants.
  • No individual cash prizes will be offered.
  • Funding levels depend on the stage of maturity and scalability of initiatives, as well as the extent of impact
  • The programme offers networking opportunities, communications exposure and additional capacity-building options
  • Successful participants will have chance to build partnerships with local governments, business incubators, accelerators, mentors and investors


  • This programme targets undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any discipline at a UAE-based university. The following criteria apply:
    • No individual applications will be accepted
    • Groups of two to five students (no more, no less) supported by an academic mentor
    • Each group will be eligible to submit one proposed solution per cycle
    • An academic mentor can facilitate more than one group of students
    • There are no restrictions on the number of applications that may be submitted by a university
  • Individual professors, think tanks, research centres, and private sector entities are not eligible to apply for this programme.


The University Innovation Programme seeks to fund creative ideas and help bring them to life by providing support during the demonstration, implementation and/or prototype stages.

Successful applicants will demonstrate how new innovations, or the innovative application of existing solutions, can positively impact communities in the UAE and the wider region.

Evaluation Criteria

  1. To what extent is the proposed solution, or its application, novel or innovative?
  2. How feasible is the proposed solution?
  3. What is the magnitude of its impact in UAE?
  4. What is the strength of the proposed activities and implementation plan?
  5. To what extent are the requested amounts appropriate and applicable for the proposed activities?


Students interested in applying to the programme can submit their proposals by following the steps below:

  • Visit their website
  • Click on how to apply
  • Register your group on the website by following the instructions
  • Submit a short abstract explaining your proposed solution
  • Shortlisted groups will be invited to attend a workshop in preparation for the final event
  • Groups who pass the workshop will be invited to pitch their ideas in front of the Expo Live Evaluation Panel

The deadlines for each round of submissions for proposal abstracts are listed on the website

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Expo Live University Innovation Program.