On the eve of International Day of Disabled People, GDI Hub is preparing to welcome teams from across the world to compete in Enable Makeathon 2017, showing how Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park leads the way as a place to inspire, innovate and change perceptions around disability.

Home to GDI Hub, as well as a thriving location for business and innovation, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will play host to a two week Enable Makeathon co-creation camp which will see teams compete to design affordable tech solutions for disabled people around the world. The Makeathon will be launched at a Parliamentary Reception on Monday 4 December, where the Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Penny Maudaunt MP, will address guests.

Enable Makeathon will be held concurrently in UCL Here East on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and in Bangalore, India.  London’s co-creation camp will see experts and mentors from universities, NGOs and the private sector, including Motivation, Plexal and Microsoft, offer valuable support to the teams, who will compete to bring their ideas to market. Ideas that make the grade will be used by the International Committee for the Red Cross to support disabled people in developing countries.

Ideas that will be worked on in London’s Makeathon include:

  •  a below the knee prosthetic suitable for any wearer that can be mass produced
  •  a cost effective prosthetic socket which can be remoulded easily and cheaply
  •  a walking cane that helps the user when walking upstairs
  •  software that will allow disabled people to access video gaming content and rehab
  •  affordable smart glasses to aid electric wheelchairs users


The winners will get a prize fund and business incubation for three months in east London in 2018, with friendly competition from their India-based counterparts!

Enable Makeathon 2017 follows the announcement that the UK will co-host a 2018 Global Disability Summit of world leaders in London in 2018.  Disability innovation is becoming a major global priority. With over a billion disabled people in the world, many living in extreme poverty, GDI Hub is seeking to take a lead role in driving forward this movement to ‘leave no one behind.’

Dr Catherine Holloway, GDI Hub Academic Director, brought the Enable Makeathon to the UK. She said

“We were delighted to be asked by the Red Cross to deliver the  London Enable Makeathon. We have been overwhelmed with support from our partners such as Microsoft, who’ve offered mentorship and software packages for the teams, and  Motivation who’ve offered their guidance and support after 26 year in the assistive tech for development business. This type of scalable affordable disability innovation is why we set up the GDI Hub and I can’t wait to see who wins.”

Tarun Sarwal, Innovation Advisor, International Committee for the Red Cross said:

“The first Enable Makeathon, held in Bengaluru, India last year led t the establishment of some great new products which the Red Cross can now test in the field, heling to meet real need. This year we are delighted that the GDI Hub team are running EM2 in London along with the Indian event, launched at the Houses of Parliament on the 4th December”.