Born Global Foundation Competition for Innovation in Sustainability

The Boston University College of Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy are pleased to announce the third annual design competition for innovations to impact the global challenge of sustainability. The competition is open to Boston University undergraduates and masters students. Teams must be interdisciplinary.

  • Prizes

    First Place $5,000

    Second place $2,500

    Third place $1,500

Teams will take an interdisciplinary approach in creating a newly formulated solution to a real world sustainability problem with a focus in one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Each group must include engineering students and students from non-engineering majors, housed in college like the Questrom School of Business, College of Arts and Science, School of Public Health or College of Fine Arts.

Projects will be judged on the efficacy of technical innovation and the business model for how such an innovation might be economically and ecologically feasible compared to current methods.

The competition is made possible by a generous gift from the Born Global Foundation headed by Dr. Kimberly Samaha, an alum of BU College of Engineering.


Town Hall Kickoff Meeting

Monday, November 1, 2021  |  5-6PM  |  Photonics Center (8 Saint Mary’s Street) Room 211

Event details to be announced. Guest Talk by Dr. Samaha.

Virtual Office Hours

Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 8-9PM

Informal conversations about the competition on topics like creating a team, requirements and past winners. Zoom details:

Meeting ID: 918 4319 5103 | Passcode: 962132

Team Formation Proposal

Sunday, February 27, 2022

A list of team members including name, email, and college/department should be sent to Professor Emily Ryan (

Project Proposal Submission 

Friday, March 4, 2022

1-page project overview to explain the challenge addressed, team members and faculty mentor.
Proposals should be e-mailed to Professor Emily Ryan ( in PDF format.

Draft Final Report

Monday, March 21, 2022

Final Submission of Written Report

Monday, April 4, 2022

Report Template

Oral Presentations

Week of April 11th, 2022

Winners Announced

 Early May 2022

To Register & Join the Email List

Enter your team to express interest in competing, and to receive important email announcements. Please consider this form a ‘notice of interest,’ rather than a formal registration. 

  • Click "+" to add another team member.


Hosted in partnership with the BU Institute for Sustainable Energy