RISE 2023 Showcase and Awards

RISE supports students in developing their ideas for social enterprise. It can be difficult to take innovation beyond small-scale, local implementation and into something bigger. RISE helps students to realise their goals and create a global impact. The programme provides access to an international audience of potential supporters – people just like you.

2023 RISE Award Winners:

Most Innovative -Nepri

Most Potential – WISE Cities

Most Impact – Celal-Mex

Most Collaborative - LEAN Social

U21 Provost Award - Preventing Blindness with Space Medicine Technology

For an overview of themes that each project address, please click here.

LEAN Social – Virtual Work & Study Space for GenZ

Ky Nam Nguyen, Fanyin Yang and Zi Hao Lam
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • LEAN Social is a virtual study & work space that helps GenZ feel less lonely and more motivated to be productive. They offer a study-streaming ecosystem with a practical incentive system that aims to promote self-directed learning. Utilizing machine learning, the platform tracks and convert students’ learning time into tokens, which can be exchanged for gift vouchers (short-term incentives) or educational experiences like placement in a Bootcamps or MOOCs (long term incentives).


    Robert Bogle, Evert Heylen and Andrea Garcia Guzman
  • KU Leuven
  • Ecobite is nonprofit sustainability data & menu label provider for restaurants. Their goal is a turn-key solution for restaurants to show impactful ecological scores to their customers, and an app for people to monitor the impact of their food. This opens the door for restaurants to advertise their ecological footprint and attract the next generation of climate-friendly customers. In a current pilot with Alma, KU Leuven’s university restaurant, they hope to improve the diets of KU Leuven’s students.

    Incentivising Sustainable Practices at Employee Level by Using Gamification

    Zi Chai and Xinwen Zhang
  • The University of Sydney
  • A kilowatt hour of electricity consumed generates 0.43kg of Co2. Small behaviour changes, such as turning off lights after a meeting, can significantly reduce carbon emissions. This project focused on changing patterns of behaviour in employees to improve corporate sustainability. Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals on Responsible Consumption and Climate Action, it motivates employees to adopt sustainable practices and help reduce the environmental impact of workplaces that is so crucial to the challenge of climate change.

    Let's Talk Consent

    Laura Porteous, Genna Hawkins and Jasmine Gray
  • University of Auckland
  • Let's Talk Consent is a multi-faceted platform that is for the youth, by the youth. We believe with the right content to raise awareness and empower critical thinking, our communities have the power to challenge the rape culture we live in to reduce sexual harm.


    Erik Karlsson, Edith Hammer and Pelle Ohlsson
  • Lund University
  • Nepri exists to help farmers worldwide reach sustainable and high-yielding agriculture, through early diagnostics of plant diseases.


    Stefanie Stan and Blake Jones
  • The University of Queensland
  • We are creating a social platform for university students to centralize their entire university life and assist in the process of making meaningful relationships. This helps combat the problem of social isolation and the pressures of isolated study leading to dropouts or mental health issues. Students can join bubbles based on their interests, courses, demographics, and/or university club memberships to connect with one another and receive all the promotional information about events in one place.


    Jasmine Palmer, Eva Holden and Elouise Comber
  • The University of Queensland
  • Entropy is a startup which focusses on aiding scientific researchers in communicating their research. We understand that researchers often don’t have the time or resources to put into making their research easily consumed by the layperson. Researchers commission us to create articles and infographics communicating new publications, which we then provide to the researchers, as well as disseminate via social media and our website. Our goal is to both make science more accessible and reduce the miscommunications and stigma which surround certain science fields.

    Jiro-meat by Team Jikara

    Kai Ling Oh, Chin Wee Heng and Jian Yong Chua
  • National University of Singapore
  • Despite Singapore's heavy reliance on food imports, the country generates a considerable amount of food waste each year. Unfortunately, a majority of this food waste either ends up in landfills or is exported as animal feed, contributing to harmful greenhouse gas emissions that impact the Earth's climate. Team Jikara has developed a sustainable solution to address this pressing issue. Through fermentation, we transform soybean pulp, also known as okara, into a remarkable alternative meat substitute called Jiro-meat. This approach allows us to upcycle food waste, while also effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering responsible consumption and production practices. Jiro-meat looks at repurposing the by-products from food processing into alternative proteins, to help eliminate food waste.

    FeedRo by Team EmpTech

    An Qi Lim and Wee Keong Daniel Foong
  • National University of Singapore
  • EmpTech wants to empower individuals with upper body disabilities to eat Asian cuisines independently. Many of them are unable to eat on their own and have to rely heavily on their caregivers. EmpTech is developing a robotic arm that allows individuals to control the whole feeding process on their own, without the help of their caregivers. We aim to restore a sense of dignity and independence to the disabled while improving the quality of life of theirs and their caregivers.


    Palakh Khanna
  • University of Delhi
  • Break.The.Ice is an International Youth organization working towards discussing all things taboo and helping in creating an enlightened youth community. With over 25,000 individuals impacted and 100+ members in the team, they are presently in 10+ countries. From mental health to menstruation to gender equality and climate change, they work on all topics often pushed under the carpet of ignorance.


    Daryanne Scott and Martha Harrison
  • University of Birmingham
  • Calico is a social enterprise that facilitates important social conversations through community engagement with the arts. The company works with marginalised groups to co-create artistic campaigns which champion their voices on issues that are important to them, such as gendered violence, street harassment, and spiking in bars and nightclubs. Previous projects have championed the voices of women and LGBTQIA+ communities through online outreach, focus groups, interviews, workshops, and performance opportunities, platforming their feelings and hopes for the future. Calico aims to provide various means and streams for communities to reach, engage, and be involved with our work.

    SYSCOEdu (Systematic Coaching for Education)

    Tien Qiach
  • University of Nottingham
  • SYSCOEdu provides a new platform, where experienced PhD students provide mentoring to international undergraduate students in the UK from minority ethnic groups. It teaches mentees to recognise and develop their cover values and contribute to their local communities. The aim is to reduce generational and cultural gaps, and establish strong fundamentals about self- and mutual recognition, and provide strategic goals for mentees to work towards.


    Louise Lyons-Appiah
  • University of Birmingham
  • BreatheUni is a safe space for students. Run by students, for students, BreatheUni is the perfect starting point for anyone looking for support and knowledge about mental health and wellbeing, personal development, and equality, diversity and inclusion. Now also known as BreatheUnion, a community, training and accountability hub which provides EQ and psycho-social skills and personal development to young aspirational leaders and changemakers. This is done by providing leadership programmes, peer support and training to help them find meaning, reach their purpose-driven goals and make an impact on a range of different BU communities.


    Jan Van Baarle, Martijn Van Dooren and Ulysse Maes
  • KU Leuven
  • The aim is to revolutionize the fashion industry by seamlessly integrating various digital tools and solutions. In a world where exciting technologies already exist, they often remain isolated, creating data islands. Amodamo simplifies the integration process, making it as effortless as installing an app on a phone. By doing so, clothing companies can save significant time and money that would otherwise be spent on complex integrations. Amodamo empowers fashion brands to embrace a data-driven transition towards a more sustainable fashion industry. Data-driven transition towards a sustainable fashion industry.


    Samuel Amant and August Eriksson
  • Lund University
  • Empowering seaweed cultivation with fishermen. This project supports fishermen and sea enthusiasts with the cultivation of seaweed.

    Preventing Blindness with Space Medicine Technology

    Ethan Waisberg
  • University College Dublin
  • With ageing populations worldwide, the prevention of avoidable blindness becomes even more challenging. Novel and more efficient methods of vision screening are needed, particularly in developing countries that lack access to ophthalmic services. Building on previous NASA-funded work to assess astronaut vision in space, this technology can also be applied on Earth using low-cost virtual reality headsets, combined with artificial intelligence to provide new possibilities for eye screening in developing countries.


    Karol Aceves and David Hernández

    A project that promotes health and comprehensive sexual education through digital platforms, offering a safe space thanks to experts in the area.


    Oscar Martínez, Adolfo Vidal and Eduardo Mendez
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey
  • Biotechnology company focused on the development of environmentally sustainable alternatives and substitutes for the agricultural and industrial sectors with the use of organic pineapple waste for the creation of cellulose, starch, bioplastic, phytochemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

    WISE Cities

    Marie Brodsky and Katherine-Aria Close
  • University of Maryland
  • WISE Cities creates accessible technology for older adults experiencing social isolation to connect with their communities. This platform allows older adults to easily discover local groups and resources while removing the technological barrier by creating an intuitive experience. It is built to be multilingual, work across devices, and allow for AI-facilitated voice interaction. Community centers, city departments, and businesses use the platform to share their services. The company has completed a funded city pilot and has been accepted to national networks of organizations battling social isolation.

    Sustainabli: Decarbonizing labs through fume hood management

    Kevin Tu, Russell Chiu, Oliver D'Esposito, Andrew Hong, Michael Li, Telon Yan and Ann-Audrey Ezi
  • University of Maryland
  • Fume hoods are workstations that scientists use when handling volatile chemicals. Most scientists leave them open out of convenience but doing so leads to significant energy costs and carbon emissions. To combat this issue, we engineered the first digital fume hood manager, consisting of a centralized online analytics dashboard and IoT sensors that retrofit onto existing fume hoods. Our product is the first on the market to effectively address this issue in a way that is low-cost, scalable, and meets key environmental reporting benchmarks.


    Wing Tung Gloria Ng, Ka Yi Lee, Ar Wou Joivia So, Charlotte Theodora So and Cheuk Ying Tse
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • Women shouldn't be victimized by menstruation; their needs should be validated and prioritized. Witnessing that little attention was paid to manage the physical and mental discomfort of women during periods, DropaPad aims to alleviate the inconvenience and embarrassment associated with inaccessibility of sanitary products in Hong Kong. We are installing sanitary product vending machines in toilets to increase accessibility of sanitary products, by making it convenient for women to change their sanitary products, for maintaining hygiene and reproductive health. We are collaborating with HKU Equal Opportunity Unit, to launch pilot trials and ultimately extend it into public washrooms.

    Drive-By Bridge Condition Monitoring

    Robert Corbally
  • University College Dublin
  • Failure of a bridge can have significant impacts on the functioning of transport networks while also posing a risk to safety. Traditional bridge inspections have relied on visual approaches or sensors to monitor structural performance. These methods take time and labour, and pose health and safety risks. Drive-By bridge condition monitoring uses vehicles which already travel on the road network to indirectly measure the condition of the bridges. This cost-effective solution eliminates the logistical and safety-related challenges of traditional methods. It leverages machine learning techniques and includes novel methods for detecting bridge behaviour from the measured vibrations on a passing vehicle.