Born Global Foundation Competition for Innovation in Sustainability

The Boston University College of Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy are pleased to announce the 4th 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.


First Place $3,000
Second place $2,000
Third place $1,000

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 top three projects will be given additionally funding to continue development and prototyping of their project during the spring semester.

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, 9/26/22  |  6-7PM  |  EPIC 102, 750 Commonwealth Ave

Teaming and Project Ideas Open Office Hours
Tuesday, 10/11/22 |  6-7PM | ENG 245 | Open office hours to discuss your initial ideas and questions with Prof. Ryan and Dr. Samaha.

Team Formation Proposal
Monday, 10/17/22 | The proposal should include a list of team members including name, email, and college/department, and 2-3 sentences on your UN goals or project ideas. Proposals should be emailed to Professor Emily Ryan,

Project Proposal Submission
Friday, 12/19/22 | The proposal should include a 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.

Submit a Draft of the Final Report
Thursday, 1/5/23 | Email to Prof. Ryan (

Submit the Completed Final Report
Monday, 1/9/23 | Report Template

Oral Presentations
Thursday, 1/12/23 & Friday, 1/13/23

Winners Announced the week of January 16, 2023

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