Algeon Materials is on a mission to fight climate change and reduce plastic pollution. Plastic manufacturing contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and plastic pollution is a serious threat to the environment. 90% of petroleum-based plastics have never been recycled and can take up to 500 years to degrade. Companies need access to materials that help them meet their business needs (mechanical properties, ESG goals, consumer desire), plastics manufacturers need access to a reliable material supply that works with their existing machinery, and consumers want products that don’t pollute the environment. Algeon Materials is creating sustainable and environmentally friendly bioplastics from kelp. Kelp, a macroalgae, has properties that lend themselves to plastic creation. Kelp is the ideal solution because it’s a regenerative resource and farming it requires virtually zero inputs: no land, fresh water, or fertilizer. This solution supports 7 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Steel forms the backbone of our modern world, with over 1.5 billion tons of steel produced globally every year. However, the production of iron and steel contributes over 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it will be paramount to reduce those emissions to combat climate change. Green Steel Printing is a proprietary metal 3D printing technology that uses laser heating to directly manufacture steel objects without emitting any carbon dioxide. By fully converting iron-oxide ore to iron with green hydrogen, and then 3D printing steel parts in a continuous laser-powered process, Green Steel Printing has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of iron and steel parts into a clean, zero-emissions process.
While it is essential for fashion brands to reuse and recycle clothes, their efforts will not significantly reduce their carbon footprint in the long run because the rate of clothing production and consumption is only going to accelerate. Sustainable fashion ultimately means less fashion, which contradicts fashion’s current linear “take, make, and waste” model. This project helps fashion brands achieve on-demand production by supplying color-changing fibers to be spun into garments, minimizing the risk of overproduction. At the retail store, shoppers will be the ones to customize the color of their garments at the color-changing stations. Viberent’s technology has the potential to redefine the 3 R’s: Reduce textile and dye waste, Reuse clothes in a completely new way, and use Recycled material to create color-changing fibers. Let’s close the loop and transform linear fashion into circular fashion.
The Red Cross of Tijuana is a nonprofit medical services provider that covers 98% of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) requests in Tijuana, Mexico. They pilot only 17 ambulances to serve a population exceeding 1.8 million people. As a result, these conditions escalate emergency vehicle response times and impair EMS performance during everyday operations. Partnered with the Red Cross of Tijuana, ReEMS (Revolutionized Emergency Medical Services) aims to optimize the delivery and management of emergency services in Tijuana and other underserved communities worldwide by introducing cost-effective smartphone and cloud software. Their platform enables emergency medical personnel to make informed decisions during dispatch by providing them with tools to monitor, visualize, and dispatch EMS vehicles in real time. ReEMS expects to decrease EMS vehicle response durations by over 50%, improving access to and reliability of health care for millions of people in underserved communities.
One Village Philippines is a multidisciplinary team of fifteen engineering students within the UC San Diego Global TIES program. This team is working together with the non-profit organization Gawad Kalinga to support its mission of alleviating poverty for communities across the Philippines by providing humanitarian solutions via engineering services. Due to limited lighting, nighttime travel is especially difficult for residents and they often feel unsafe. Additionally, power outages often occur within the community due to electrical failures. Through the development of a sustainable lighting solution, the SolarE team addresses the need for sufficient lighting throughout the village at night and catalyzes social entrepreneurship within the Filipino community by empowering villagers to produce and sell the solar light locally.
There are over 100 languages spoken in San Diego, and its 1.3 million people population is majority comprised of minority individuals. However, there is a lack of knowledge and awareness about different cultures, especially in children from marginalized communities living in a political climate of divisiveness. Movement Exchange at UCSD is part of a global community of dance diplomats creating positive social change through dance. The chapter was founded last year, and notably brought diverse cultural dance to partnered orphanages in Panama for the first time this summer. Dance education benefits child development and cross-cultural understanding, particularly in the second largest city in California, San Diego that is cross-border and majority minority by census. This project will develop the first informed curriculum for free and child-friendly culture and dance lessons, spearheaded by a diverse team of dancers. The team intends to trial evidence-based lesson plans, host an inaugural community-sponsored showcase, and expand internationally.
Viral load testing is increasingly supported as a necessary component of the HIV management cycle. Regular monitoring for treatment failure by a viral load test is endorsed by the World Health Organization as essential to a globally sustainable treatment plan. Tijuana has been identified as the potential site of an HIV epidemic due to both its rising incidence of HIV cases and to its disproportionately large populations of high-risk sex workers and intravenous drug users. A novel detection system called VIRA has been developed to make the viral load test financially and logistically feasible for Tijuana health clinics to incorporate into their treatment and containment strategies. VIRA combines a low-cost centrifuge, automated RNA extraction device, paper-based genetic circuit, and smartphone-based photometric quantification system to yield a fast, easy, and inexpensive point-of- care viral load test which may be implemented in Tijuana and readily adapted to other low-resource settings.
The Open Viral Load project aims to develop an open-source, affordable genetic assay test for HIV that can be easily modified to test other pathogenic diseases, such as tuberculosis and the Zika virus. As part of the Global TIES organization, the Open Viral Load team is working with both the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique. The team will perform preliminary testing in Tijuana, Mexico, followed by secondary testing in Mozambique. This project will allow low resource communities to receive the regular testing they need in order to know the status of their viral disease or to quickly diagnose patients with other pathogenic illnesses. This in turn will help doctors issue proper treatment to those in their community.
Many small-scale farmers in Kenya lack access to adequate storage facilities that could keep their produce fresher, ultimately reducing high post-harvest losses while increasing their earning potential. This project will lease refrigeration space to farmers in Nanyuki, Kenya at a fair price and in an ideal location while using low-cost solar energy. The Saidia na Mazao initiative plans to purchase three solar-efficient refrigerators and install them in a rented space equipped with solar power technology. Transportation in these areas can be erratic; often short distances can take longer to cover and, as a result, produce spoils in-transit. Agricultural traders with trucks and cold storage facilities use this fact as an opportunity to underpay farmers. This project’s goal is to ensure small-scale farmers regain control by providing them with an easily accessible stopping point where they can safely store their perishable produce.