What is Prototypes for Humanity?
Prototypes for Humanity is a programme for university students and graduates from across the world working on social impact innovation. We empower, promote and help develop projects that offer solutions to challenges affecting communities and individuals. Our activities include exhibitions, prizes, a venture-building programme, and knowledge exchange forums and events.
What is the Prototypes for Humanity exhibition?
An annual event showcasing 100 social impact innovation projects by university students from around the world, held every year in Dubai.
Who can apply?
All currently enrolled university students as well as those who have graduated within the past 2 years. Supervising professors can also submit applications on behalf of their students. All applicants must be above 18 years of age. In our selection process we focus on the projects and their impact, not who the students are or which university they come from.
What kind of projects can I submit?
You can apply with projects in any discipline, at any development stage – from concept to working solution – as long as it is an innovation creating positive impact for society or the planet. The project can be technologically advanced or very simple, large scale or aimed at helping a small community. Take a look at the diversity of our past projects here.
My project is a research paper with a few charts. Does the lack of digital media affect my application?
No, the selection criteria is based on the research, we understand that some of the most impactful projects do not have videos or a prototype.
How will my project be displayed in the exhibition if I do not have a prototype?
Our team will design your project display using the text, images, diagrams and videos you submit. If your project lacks visual components, you will be asked to work with our design team to create exhibition-friendly content.
If my project is selected, do I have to bring my prototype to Dubai?
Yes, if you submitted an application presenting a prototype you must bring it with you to Dubai to be displayed in the exhibition, safety guidelines permitting.
How are the projects selected?
Our selection team is composed of experts in the innovation and impact fields. They choose the 100 projects that will be exhibited during the event based on: positive social impact (on people, communities or the planet), rigour of academic research and application of technology (high or low).
Is there a prize?
Yes! $100,000 in prizes will be distributed among selected projects in different categories. These winners are selected by a jury and announced during the event. Learn more about our 2023 winners here.
Do I get to travel to Dubai?
Yes! If your project is selected, we will sponsor one person from your team with accommodation and a subsidised return flight. The rest of your team is welcome to come at their own expense. We also sponsor one professor from each university that has students participating.
When and how will I know if I’ve been selected?
Our team will contact all applicants on the outcome of their submission by October 2024. The public announcement of shortlisted projects will be made during the opening of the exhibition, this is when all projects will be posted on our website.
If I have applied to Prototypes for Humanity before, can I apply again?
Yes, but with a different project or with significant advancements to your previous project, and as long as you have stayed connected with academia, or are no more than 2 years alumni.
Can I submit more than one project?
Yes, you can submit as many projects as you like.
I’m still working on my project and it’s not very developed – can I apply?
Yes. You can indicate the project phase in your application form on our website. If you don’t have a prototype or working solution, please provide as much detail and references as possible to help us understand how your solution works.
Will Prototypes for Humanity take my idea?
No. Applicants retain the rights to intellectual property (IP). In our terms and conditions, we explain that we will not take or appropriate your IP. We are a platform for promoting you and your ideas.
Where is the event taking place?
The exhibition will be held in Dubai. We also have a digital showcase that will stay online as an archive after the show.
How do I apply?
Applications open in February 2024, when all of our dates and deadlines for the 2024 programme will also be announced. Follow our social media channels to stay updated.
How do I apply for the venture-building programme?
When you apply to Prototypes for Humanity 2024 you can choose to also participate in the venture-building programme. All applicants (whether they are selected for the exhibition or not) are eligible to join the first phase of this programme, which takes place online. We have teamed up with leading international venture studios and industry partners to deliver the subsequent phases of the programme, which will focus on hands-on business model and technology development.
I have a question that’s not answered here.
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch soon.