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Welcome to the 2021 Efficiency for Access Design Challenge Grand Final workspace. 

This platform will allow student teams to share their work and see what other teams from around the world have been developing. Each student team is asked to upload their final submission report and video as a thread in the workspace. The workspace will be viewed by people who have been involved in the Challenge including academics, industry partners, judges, mentors, participating students, and reviewers. 

For guidance on how to upload, please enter the workspace via the orange Enter Workspace button at the bottom of this page. You will find a thread topic titled “Team 2020-XX Project Title: Example Submission” with details on what information to use and how to upload your designs. 

The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge

The Efficiency for Access Coalition and Engineers Without Borders UK are delighted to collaborate on the delivery of the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge. The Challenge is funded by UK Aid and the IKEA Foundation. The Efficiency for Access Coalition is coordinated jointly by CLASP and the Energy Saving Trust.

To provide sustainable energy for all, we urgently need to enhance the efficiency and affordability of high performing appliances. The Challenge invites teams of university students to create affordable and high-performing off-grid appliances and supportive technologies.

By bringing together and inspiring students, the competition aims to foster innovation in the off-grid appliances sector. It also seeks to help address barriers that limit market expansion in this area. Furthermore, the Challenge seeks to forge beneficial partnerships between universities, researchers and industry partners at a global level. In this way, it will further strengthen academic capacity within the off-grid sector.

The Challenge

Participating student teams were required to submit a 4,000-word report and 3-minute video in April outlining their solution. Student teams had to; consider the technological context, research the needs of their end-user, and consider a business case. More information can be found in the Challenge Brief.

The Grand Final 

All students and universities participating in the Challenge will be invited to the Grand Final. This will include many opportunities for networking between students and specialists from the off-grid industry and the chance to showcase some of the submissions from the year. It will also include presentations from off-grid industry experts and engaging panel discussions. In addition, many experts and investors from the sector will be invited. During the Grand Final, we will also present teams with gold, silver, and bronze awards.

The People's Award

The People's Award allows anyone to vote for the design they think best meets the assessment framework criteria found at the end of the Challenge Brief.

The team that receives the highest number of votes will win the People’s Award which will be announced at the Grand Final.


Voting will close on 22nd June 11:59pm GMT



14th May:     

Participating student teams will have access to upload their designs.

24th - 27th May:     

Pitching rounds

23rd June:     

Grand Final – Register here.


By taking part in the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge, teams agree to share their solutions under an open-source Creative Commons license CC BY 4.0. Teams shall own the Intellectual Property of their work, however, they will agree to provide Engineers Without Borders and Efficiency for Access Coalition permission to use the ideas for a wider benefit. You can read the full Terms and Conditions of the competition here.


If you have any queries about this, please contact eforachallenge@est.org.uk

Efficiency for Access Design Challenge