3. AAI Scholar James Innovates in India

AAI Scholar James Innovates in India

Featured News 2023.11.29

In December 2022, James, an Ashinaga UK Scholar from Kenya, took part in the UNLEASH India Global Innovation Lab. This is a highly competitive, global talent competition that attracts the brightest minds around the world to design real, scalable solutions to problems linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


The participants are put into teams with an opportunity to pitch their solution to their peers and possible funders. James explains more:

“Selected from a pool of 19,000 applicants, I was privileged to be among the 1,000 young global talents selected to attend Unleash Global Innovation lab in Mysore, India, between 3rd & 10th December 2022.

I was selected under SDG 3: Good Health & Well-being, with an emphasis on non-communicable diseases. I was placed in a team of five talents (Team Hope) composed of a junior doctor, a pharmaceutics expert, two biomedical science students and a public health officer. We were highly disturbed by the daily rising global cases of diabetes, one of the fastest growing health challenges in the 21st century, which is hitting hardest in low and middle-income countries.

Driven by this insight, we went through rigorous problem-framing and solution-ideation stages. We devised the ingenious idea of developing a multi-functional device in the form of a water bottle and called the device CoHOPE. The device would be incorporated with sensors that would non-invasively use biomarkers in saliva and breath to detect and monitor blood sugar levels among diabetes patients. The device can also be used for early detection of diabetes in the undiagnosed population, in addition to collecting and tracking data.

On the final day, we pitched our creative idea to fellow talents and a selection of judges from numerous NGOs, corporates, and foundations. We were excited to take home the ‘Most Impactful Solution’ Award under the NCDs track presented by Dr Anil Kapur, Board Chairman of World Diabetes Foundation (WDF), in the presence of Vikrant Shrotriya, Managing Director and Corporate Vice President for Novo Nordisk in India.

I am grateful to have got the opportunity to be among passionate young changemakers working hard to see the world become a better place to be every day. I used that chance to learn more about SDGs and create valuable networks that I will forever be thankful for.”

Well done, James, for your brilliant work and making the most of this opportunity!

There are currently 159 Ashinaga Scholars just like James, studying at top universities around the world, developing their skills and gaining experiences so they can help others in the future. Find out more on our Meet the Scholars page, or donate to help Ashinaga Scholars in their journeys to become compassionate leaders.

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