InnovationAction.org is a central innovation hub that will source global solutions to global challenges. It was launched by a consortium of partners brought together by global innovation catalyst Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub and led by UCL Engineering.

The website will support the COVID-19 response by providing access to proven, viable designs for medical devices and personal, protective equipment (PPE) that will aid health and social care professionals and patients around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website will also support the next phase of UKAid’s Frontier Technologies Hub #COVIDaction programme – sourcing ‘indirect response’ technology innovations that will be critical to families and communities battling the pandemic in low and middle income countries (LMIC).

Funded by UKAid, the site will share vetted innovations, enabling access to designs and development stories to local manufacturers around the world. Fully accessible and optimised for mobile, InnovationAction.org has been designed for use globally, ensuring functionality in areas of low bandwidth, including in low and middle income countries.

The website was launched in April 2020 with design specifications for several UCL-approved innovations, chosen with the support of multidisciplinary expertise across the university. They included a Continuous Positive Airway pressure (CPAP) that supports patients who have breathing difficulties, and a DIY face visor that can be made using resources that might be found in a home or office, for use by those in immediate need who have no alternative i.e. no approved PPE at their disposal.

As a next priority, the website will feature #COVIDaction designs for ‘indirect response’ technology innovations that are critical to low and middle income countries (LMIC) battling the pandemic. This will focus on the following thematic areas:

The InnovationAction.org platform forms part of the wider mission-led approach of GDI Hub to work closely with partners across UCL Engineering and beyond, to make the world a fairer place. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the website will be an innovation exchange addressing global challenges such as Assistive Technology – using the principles of open-source innovation to positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world who are living with disabilities. The challenges of Assistive Technology provision are similar to those seen with COVID-19: a lack of affordable, quality products, trained personnel, manufacturing, production and global suppliers. By replicating learnings and working across the GDI Hub’s global networks, InnovationAction.org will bridge sectors, industries and borders, and rapidly catapult innovations to the regions that need them. 

Innovators with designs that could be featured on the site and manufacturing organisations who have capacity are invited to join this movement:

Innovators with designs

Manufacturing organisations

The consortium partners

Building on its research-led expertise and UKAid’s Frontier Technologies Hub #COVIDaction response, GDI Hub has joined forces with the UCL Institute of Making, UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering and UKAid’s Frontier Technologies Hub to establish a dynamic, multidisciplinary team – bringing together unique skills across design, engineering, healthcare, product development, innovation and technology.

The consortium collaborating with GDI Hub on the InnovationAction.org website includes:


GDI Hub is a research and practice centre driving disability innovation for a fairer world. Working across five interacting domains – research, innovation, programmes, teaching and advocacy – the GDI Hub team are solutions-focused experts in assistive technology, inclusive design and culture and participation. GDI Hub works in 15 countries and expects to impact nine million people by 2022. It uses bold approaches and disruptive partnerships to accelerate community-led solutions to shape mainstream programming. GDI Hub delivers world-class research, ideas and technologies creating new knowledge, solutions and products. It harnesses academic excellence, innovative practice and co-creation to tackle global challenges from a new perspective.

GDI Hub was born out of the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and launched by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in September 2016. Based at UCL on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, GDI Hub is formed of an Academic Research Centre and a Community Interest Company (a non-profit, mission-led organisation).

For more information visit GDI Hub

UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering

UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering stimulates and supports interdisciplinary, world-class research and innovation in healthcare engineering. We bring together leading researchers across UCL and our partner hospitals to develop the next generation of digital and medical technologies, transforming lives across the globe.

For more information visit UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering

UCL Institute of Making

The Institute of Making is a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to diamonds, socks to cities. Membership of and day-to-day access to the Institute is available to all UCL staff and students.

For more information visit UCL Institute of Making

Frontier Technologies Hub

The Frontier Technologies Hub is a UKAid-funded programme that explores the application of frontier technologies to the biggest challenges in development.  The Hub works with innovators around the work to pilot and evaluate technologies like IoT, drones, blockchain and more as they are put to work on some of the world’s most wicked problems.

For more information visit Frontier Technologies Hub

Website design and build

The website was designed and built by Passio, a digital agency specialising in inclusive/accessible websites and apps. It is fully accessible and has been designed to operate in areas with low bandwidth.

Our Partners