top of page
IKEA Foundation Logo_edited.jpg


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 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 enabling 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.

To find out more review the Challenge Brief. The Challenge Brief is the guideline document for students and includes information about different technologies to inspire students when thinking about what they want to work on, as well as the assessment framework their final submissions will need to consider.

How to use CrowdSolve  

The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge 2021- 2022 has now finalised. You still can see what participating students worked on. 

Like an idea that a student team has come up with? Let them know!  Continue the conversation on any of the threads.

This platform contains three workspaces:  

General Workspace 

  • Who’s invited: Participating students and Challenge alumni, academics, mentors, reviewers, and the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge team. 

  • Includes information about the activities that are part of the Challenge, such as webinars and events. Participating academics and students were able to discuss the activities as well as share relevant information and research.

Concept Note Workspace

  • Who’s invited: Participating students, academics, mentors, reviewers and the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge team.

  • Student teams have uploaded their concept notes to this area, received feedback from reviewers and been introduced to their mentors. This workspace allowed comments and sharing ideas from experts but also from different teams. As students' ideas developed further they moved to the Final Submission Workspace (see below).  

Final Submission Workspace

  • Who’s invited: Participating students, academics, mentors, reviewers, judges, the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge team and the public.

  • Student teams uploaded their final designs and received feedback from reviewers. Student teams were also encouraged to promote their designs publicly as they competed for the People’s Vote. We want this workspace to be interactive and generate an exchange of ideas, raising questions or supportive comments to the student teams' work. 

Grand Final  

The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge Grand Final on 23 August included a keynote speech by Eduarda Oliveira Zoghbi, a panel discussion on ‘How can early career professionals influence sustainable growth in the solar appliance sector?’, and the awards ceremony. If you missed it you can watch the recording here

We want to congratulate all students participating in this year’s Challenge for all their effort and hard work developing all those innovative ideas. Special congratulations to the student teams awarded gold, silver and bronze (list available here). 

We also want to thank all the mentors, reviewers and judges involved this year as well as the founders of the Challenge, UK aid and IKEA Foundation. 


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.

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions, please contact 

Efficiency for Access Design Challenge

bottom of page