At their annual meeting in May, the VIP Consortium announced that the Apps4Good Team from University of Strathclyde won the 2023 International Innovation Competition. The Apps4Good team has created an application designed to help unhoused individuals in Scotland receive much needed care. App users can pin locations on a map that nonprofit organizations like partner organization Homeless Project Scotland can use when directing services, such as food and water distribution. According to team supervisor Dr. Scott Strachan, "The Apps4Good [project] is a prime example of just how our students can apply their ‘useful learning’ to provide practical, and in this case life-changing and potentially life-sustaining support, to people who make up the most vulnerable sections of our community.”
Fourteen universities from all over the world participated in the international competition this year, including teams from Riga Technical University and Riga Stradins University (Latvia), National Dong Hwa University (Taiwan), Lebanese American University and American University of Beirut (Lebanon), University of New South Wales (Australia), and Inha University (South Korea). Teams from institutions within the U.S. included those from Boise State University, New York University, and Stony Brook University, as well as three teams from Georgia (Georgia Tech, Georgia College and State University, and Georgia Southern University). The projects teams submitted were wide ranging, from a virtual training environments for nurses to collaborations between drones and autonomous vehicles, and from an small, affordable neural stimulator to be used in various research settings to an innovative system that cleanses waterways and produces biorenewable sea urchin food. The PadVocates project from Lebanese American University, which is developing local, affordable sanitary pad production lines, and the project from American University of Beirut, which is developing a mucoadhesive formulation containing drug-loaded nanoparticles to provide a more suitable alternative oral dosage for Alzheimer patients who find it difficult to swallow oral tablets, were recognized as second and third place respectively.
The VIP Consortium is a non-profit organization made up of Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) programs, which feature faculty-led, long-term research projects where interdisciplinary teams of undergraduates tackle real world problems. The competition provides a forum for students on VIP teams from around the world to showcase their work and be recognized for their accomplishments. Many schools run internal competitions to determine which team will participate in the international competition. International competition winners are voted on by a panel of VIP Consortium members. Use the links below to view videos from our top performing teams this year.