Ford College Community Challenge


Ford Fund invites student teams to develop ideas for innovative projects that address an unmet social need or problem in the local communit—ranging from safety to workforce development to access to mobility, and more. Each year, up to three student teams are selected to receive a €5,000 grant to implement their project. Through this program, students use entrepreneurial action to make people’s lives better and help their community become a more sustainable place to work and live.

2019 Ford College Community Challenge Winning Projects

Polytechnic University of Madrid: Madrid

In order to tackle the issue of surplus waste locally, the Circularizat-ETSII project aims to reduce the amount of waste generated within a small community in central Madrid. The project will provide information to individuals living in this community to better understand that waste can also be a valuable resource when recycled and generate income. In the final phase of the project, the team will introduce a new integrated plastic recycling facility within a laboratory at the university where the plastic waste will be converted into 3D printer material to meet the educational needs.


Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM): Madrid

From experience working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on volunteering initiatives, the team found that there are numerous social actions which are not being completed due to the lack of volunteers. Project Proximo plans to connect people who are seeking volunteer opportunities with NGOs through a mobile application. In the app volunteers can find various social activities based on geolocation, experience levels and the types of skills required. The team is most excited about the unique approach of connecting NGO project leads with the base of able-bodied volunteers. The team has found that although people are willing to help, it becomes difficult to achieve because of the inefficient transmission of information about the social needs surrounding them and Proximo solves that.


ETSIT/Polytechnic University of Madrid: Madrid

RobinForGood will be a mobile app for donations that provides a secure, transparent and trustworthy process for low-income people. Acting as a donation marketplace the user would publishes the objects they wish to donate, and people identified as at risk can choose the articles that they need, with the option to talk to the donor and specify a place for the exchange. When the donation is done, it is registered in the blockchain system and a token is generated and received by the donor. This token will be used as a discount for products at socially responsible businesses that have been identified by the team to be included on the app. The goal of RobinForGood is to be an application that brings the donor and the people in social exclusion risk closer, aiming to teach about the true value of material objects.