Stanford Center on Longevity Announces Finalists for 7th Annual Design Challenge

“Reducing the Inequity Gap: Designing for Affordability”

The Stanford Center on Longevity is pleased to announce eight Finalist teams for the 2020 Longevity Design Challenge. These Finalists were selected from 160 submissions received from 35 different countries.  The Challenge, now in its seventh year, is open to teams from any accredited university in the world.

“The goal of the Challenge is to encourage student designers to understand issues around increasingly longer lives. The 2020 challenge “Reducing the Inequity Gap: Designing for Affordability” was focused on creating solutions that are accessible to people at all socioeconomic levels. This challenge drew an unprecedented number of entries both in number and geographic diversity”, commented Ken Smith, who directs the Challenge. “These finalists are a great example of the breadth of innovation needed at all ages to support longer lives around the world.”

Finalists were selected by a panel of 25 expert judges drawn from industry, academia, and non-profit foundations. Teams will be awarded $1000 to develop their designs further and will travel to Stanford for the Finals, scheduled for April 7th.  They will compete for a $10,000 first prize and present their designs to companies and investors.

This year’s finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Affordable Solar Cooling and Filtration Technology (Pan-African University, Algeria) – A solar powered refrigerator intended to preserve food longer and reduce food-borne illnesses.

Den Mail (San Francisco State, USA) – A system for providing permanent mailing addresses to the homeless population.

The First Desk (Beijing Institute of Technology, China) – An extremely low cost education station for rural youth.

Rural Auxiliary Equipment Pit Latrine (Beijing Institute of Technology, China) – A solution to reduce falls and increase accessibility of stand-up toilets.

Prothoma (Bangladesh University of Professionals, Bangladesh) – A re-usable anti-microbial sanitary napkin.

School in the Sky (Brigham Young University, USA) – A cloud-computing based education system for very poor areas that links to U.S. students and retirees as mentors and teachers.

Shishu, Sui aur Dhaaga (Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, India) – Translates from Hindi to “Child, Needle and Thread.” Converts a common local cultural practice into an immunization tracker for infants.

VepoX (Makerere University, Uganda) – A water filtration solution using locally sourced materials.


About the Challenge

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition aimed at encouraging students to design products and services to improve the lives of people across all ages. Established in 2013, the Challenge is focused on ways to motivate and empower people in their daily lives both inside their homes and in their community.

The challenge is made possible by generous sponsorship from a number of companies and foundations, including, Target, Honda R&D Americas, USAA, Procter and Gamble, The Davis Phinney Foundation, Eskaton, and Stoneridge Creek.