Prototypes for Humanity 2022

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A sense of great urgency could be felt when exploring the ideas and solutions presented in last year’s edition of Prototypes for Humanity. Students and researchers from around the world increasingly see impact innovation as a necessity for the here and now. More than anything, these are prototypes for the present. Universities across multiple disciplines continue to establish themselves as powerful, connected incubators of ideas that bring communities, expertise and experience together into a complex ecosystem. Here, the next generation of innovators are the undisputed protagonists. Prototypes for Humanity celebrates their creativity and offers them a platform to come together in a productive exchange, which has the power to change the world.

3D Plastics

3D Plastics

Plastic waste reduction

McMaster University

A machine for recycling waste plastics into 3D printer filament




Middle East Technical University

Smart helium-filled balloon for early forest fire detection

African Ginger Research

African Ginger Research


University of the Witwatersrand

Registering African ginger as a complementary medicine for allergies




Addis Ababa University

Introducing safer bio-pesticides in small farms



3D Printing

DAAP – University of Cincinnati

Comfortable self-assembly scoliosis brace



Affordable farming tools

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Solar powered cold storage solution reducing post-harvest loss



Alternative medicine

Case Western Reserve University

Plant-based therapeutics for vaccine production and drug development



Accessible healthcare

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Accessible Pregnancy Test for the Visually Impaired



Renewable energy

University of Applied Sciences (FH) Joanneum

Harnessing renewable energy on container ships




Lund University

Self-supporting textile that can be bent to create cushions and seatings

Averto Labs

Averto Labs


National Institute of Design, India

Wearable fall detection system for at-risk construction workers


Feeding a planet of 8 billion

How can we make farming practices more sustainable? How can we give food waste a new purpose? Solutions in this section aim to reimagine and improve our relationship with food across its full lifecycle, from production to storage and reusing


Improving the lives of those who suffer

How can we use digital technology to improve access to healthcare? How can we better support the recovery of patients and survivors? Solutions in this section aim to offer new products and services that make carers more effective and patients more self sufficient


Protecting the environment from harmful human impact

How do we regenerate fragile ecosystems? How do we handle large quantities of waste efficiently? Solutions in this section aim to promote circular principles that can generate economic impact whilst supporting a more balanced relationship with nature


Saving lives in critical moments

How can we better ready ourselves for emergencies and extreme climate events? How can we prevent disasters from spreading? Solutions in this section aim to present practical, affordable technologies deployable across sectors, from mobility to fire rescue and flooding response


Powering progress in our day to day lives

How do we make our energy infrastructure more resilient? How can we become more energy self-sufficient? Solutions in this section aim to raise our consciousness about polluting sources and improve our capacity to use renewables


Leaving no-one behind

How can we create better opportunities for those in need? How can technology support self confidence? Solutions in this section aim to empower individuals living with disability or those in underprivileged positions through accessible technology


Coming together to break social barriers

How can every voice be heard in unequal societies? How can technology improve access to basic services? Solutions in this section aim to support vulnerable groups with tools to increase their sense of belonging and allow them to take a more active role in society


Making learning accessible to everyone

How can we use data to make more conscious decisions? How can technology improve learning outcomes? Solutions in this section aim to create opportunities to generate new knowledge and to make it accessible in a more equitable way