Universal Design Grand Challenge Student Awards

In 2023 the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) at the National Disability Authority (NDA) will host the ninth Universal Design Grand Challenge Student Awards

What is the Universal Design Grand Challenge?

The Universal Design Grand Challenge (UDGC) is a student competition that promotes and awards excellence in student projects that feature solutions that work for everyone. The UDGC invites third level students in their final two years of study, post grads and recent graduates to enter their best student project.

Each year, nine finalists from third-level institutions around Ireland present their designs to a panel of industry experts as part of the National Final.  Winners are then  announced in 3 categories:

  • Build Environment,
  • Technology,
  • Products and Services.

In addition, there will also be a Peoples' Choice Winner and an Enterprise Ireland “Universal Design Commercialisation Award”.

All finalists benefited from expert pitch training as part of the competition process. The winner of each category receives a cash prize and the coveted Universal Design Grand Challenge trophy for that category.

Meet our 9 finalists in the 2022 Universal Design Grand Challenge!

How does the UDGC work?

Students in their final two years of study, post graduate students and recent graduates enter their best projects.

Projects will be judged by a team of international experts in Universal Design across the three award categories. The judges will shortlist three awards in each category to go forward to the final event.

Shortlisted projects will be presented to national expert judges at the Awards Event. The Judges will choose a winning project in each category.  Attendees at the event will vote for a ‘People’s Choice’ award. Winners will take home a trophy and a cash prize. Past winners of this competition have gone on to win further awards and develop their design commercially.


What kind of projects win?

We really want to see ‘Universal Design’ in action – products and services that work for everyone. We want to see products designed using the 7 Principles of Universal Design, with user feedback at the heart of the design process. The competition is not aimed at solutions that work only for a narrow sector of society. It actively seeks out designs that work for the widest range of people possible. We also encourage students to allow the needs of users with particular needs, or "extreme users", to inspire their designs so that they work for everyone.

Find out how to enter your project for the Universal Design Grand Challenge Student Awards 2023 

Read a full description of the pitchers and winners from 2022.