ITIC is proud to have supported numerous projects across a wide range of sectors and countries from healthcare to homelessness and environmental sustainability to emergency aid. Not every idea becomes a reality but the experience gained by taking it a step further is just as valuable. Find out about our projects below or submit your own idea via our Idea Submission page.
Kilifi Recycle is an ongoing project between ITIC, the Centre for Global Equality and Friends of Takaungu Creek (a community based organisation that looks after the local natural environment in Takaungu). The aim of the project is to alleviate the plastic waste problem that has caused the beaches of Kilifi, a coastal town in Kenya, to be littered. A Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET) project from 2018 investigated how this waste can be used as a resource and thus developed a way to turn the plastic waste into construction materials. These materials can then be used to aid the development of the local area economically and through the potential of building cheaper homes.
The first stage of this project was completed in 2018 where a team of students went to Takaungu to test out the product concept developed by the MET student. Following this, another team went out in 2019 to improve on the work done by the previous groups and looked to make the process of making bricks for construction more efficient.
This process works by first putting the bottles through a shredder, which breaks them into small pieces meaning that the time and firewood taken to melt the plastic is reduced. Then, these pieces of plastic are placed into a more-efficient kiln which melts them, then mixing in sand in order to create a thick mixture. Finally, this mixture is extracted to moulds where the mixture sets to form bricks.
Open for recruitment: Potential – please get in the contact with the team via the email below
Cascade (previously known as Ripple) came from the understanding that people want to play their part in the climate crisis but sometimes find it hard to know where to start. Cascade hopes to solve this by harnessing the power of individual action to tackle the climate crisis and create a more sustainable world. By combining leading climate research with effective behavioural science, our app engages and empowers individuals to take control of their climate impact, and utilises the ripple effect to generate systemic change among communities, governments, and industries.
Conversations about sustainability are littered with misconceptions so Cascade aims to put the science back in sustainability and helps you identify the changes that actually make the biggest impact. The plan is to take the uncertainty out of individual actions and show the power they can have, while remaining aware of the bigger picture.
Open for recruitment: Yes, please see: https://cascadeapp.co.uk/contact-us/
Contact: For Cambridge recruitment questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org else contact email@example.com
This is MorePak, the sustainable solution to the issue of post-harvest losses in Sub-Saharan Africa. MorePak aim to use bio-packaging as part of a comprehensive solution, empowering our farmers whilst doing so. By repurposing the waste from farms to the packaging that protects the farmers’ crop, in turn protecting their livelihoods, we hope to provide security for generations of farmers to come. The problem we try to solve is post-harvest losses, a deceptively simple issue with a huge impact. Post-harvest losses lead to significantly less crop reaching the consumer, in turn drastically reducing the already low wages of hard-working farmers, leaving them with an uncertain future. We are working to secure their future by reducing their post-harvest losses and raising the value of their work, even down to farm waste. There are several parts of the package we offer, the core product being the bio-packaging. This is created using the waste, such as leaves and grass, from the farm, and we equip the farmer with the expertise to create this and sustain the product of this packaging, also offering education on harvesting techniques as a whole.
Open for recruitment: Not at the moment
A recent survey in a relatively wealthy area of East Africa found that only 27.5% of people wear glasses. This is a stark contrast to the 75% of people in the United States who wear them. Although there are charities in Tanzania providing cheap or donated glasses, the vast majority of people still find that cost is a key issue. This can lead to problems regarding children’s education and the productivity of workers who are often self-employed. Although various charities are trying to improve access to glasses (often by distributing old glasses from people in Europe) the problem is still very large; 90% of people with uncorrected vision live in the developing world and this contributes a $202 billion annual loss to the global economy. EyeSee is designing the complete package to rectify this. EyeSee is designing a complete solution to this, combining virtual reality eye testing with new approaches to product design and manufacturing. The end product will be a mobile clinic, with glasses that locals can afford, run by local vendors and thus encouraging entrepreneurship. Our glasses are designed with people in mind – screwless hinges and anti-scratch coating will enhance durability.
Open for recruitment: Yes, please fill in this form: https://forms.gle/jEa3MJwa5h5PLGEh8.
Pay It Forward is a local, not-for-profit initiative to support people experiencing homelessness and other people in need though independent businesses without giving them money. The scheme works by independent shops signing up to sell vouchers which can be bought by their customers and given to people experiencing homelessness so that the recipients can exchange the vouchers for what they need when they need it. ITIC are currently working with founder of PIF to develop a solution to make the processing of the vouchers sold and redeemed easier. This app will also allow the scheme to be more easily scaled up and for the impact of the vouchers to be quantified which can attract more funding.
Open for recruitment: Yes, please contact the email below.
3 billion people worldwide still cook over open fires and 4 million people die each year from household pollution-related illnesses. Existing projects in developing countries have looked to implement clean stoves and, whilst many of these have been successful, there are a number of issues with maintenance and reliability. Furthermore, the stoves often do not suit the cooking practices of the targeted cultural groups. Improving air circulation in homes helps to reduce smoke inhalation and has been proven to combat other infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis. This project is looking to develop a simple, low cost, easy to manufacture and maintain household ventilation system harnessing natural convection currents.
Open for recruitment: Not at the moment
The Airbag Project is a disaster relief based project aiming to produce a product to help evacuate people caught in earthquake rubble. A thin uninflated bag could be placed in between rocks and then inflated, forcing them apart and helping open up gaps to be able to reach trapped people.
Open for recruitment: No
In communities with access to chlorine, disinfection is often performed manually. This requires the attention and judgment of the resident and can result in problems like over-chlorination or under- chlorination. Blue Tap was founded in 2017 to help tackle this issue. The solution is a chlorine doser: a low cost chlorinator for use in rural community-scale water systems, which allows for consistent flow-dependent injection of chlorine into a raw water conduit leading from a water source to a storage tank based upon Bernoulli’s principle. The total cost of the device is less than $15 US. The device has been installed and is being tested by the Office National d’Électricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) in a rural community water system in Morocco.
Open for recruitment: No
Project Capture is an online platform to collect and raises awareness of issues in developing countries that can be addressed by innovative engineering and technology.
Volunteers working in developing countries, many with specialised knowledge in health science, engineering, carpentry, and education, observe problems that can be solved through innovative technology, engineering, and design. Currently, there is no centralised method to gather these important observations and to make them available to innovators around the world. Life-changing observations, therefore, are being lost at a tremendous rate every day. Project Capture hoped to tackle this.
This project has a three-fold aim:
- Develop a low-cost 3D printer that is affordable enough for individual households and low income economies.
- Make 3D printing more efficient by leveraging modern information techniques to create failure detection mechanisms that can enable the implementation of an automatic ‘pause, learn, restart and improve’ feature.
- Make 3D printing more accessible by creating a lightweight cloud printing system that could enable remote printing and monitoring of 3D products.
Success in this project can have a significant positive impact in under resourced economies as it will minimise waste, reduce reliance on costly distribution channels, and facilitate a much quicker way to propagate good solutions across different regions.