Welcome to Global Plastic Upcycle MAKEathon

You are warmly invited to the Global Plastic Upcycle MAKEathon, an exciting innovation contest to generate ideas to upcycle plastic into housing products for homes in Nepal. This is a fantastic opportunity to share your ideas and expertise, help solving plastic waste problems, and try out your skills in a unique environment!

The event is a hybrid of online and offline activities at Zoom, FabLab Nepal in Kathmandu, Seoul Innovation FabLab in South Korea from 1st-3rd of April, and the final pitch on 10th April 2022.

Please join us if you want to

        Meet people who share the same passion for a sustainable world

        Share your ideas, skills and creativity with the rest of the world*

        Turn plastic waste into valuable products

        Create business with plastic upcycling that improve the living conditions of homes in Nepal

* Please note that all the generated ideas will be shared with the public as open-source materials.


Is this you? Apply here today!


[What is MAKEathon?]

MAKEathon is an open innovation competition that brings interested people together, and provides the participants with resources, insights, mentoring and space to generate creative innovation ideas within a short period of timeframe. In doing so, individuals are exposed to fresh perspectives and know-hows from each other, and often come up with great innovations that were not realised at the single individual level.


It works like a hackathon, we offer an additional element of physical prototyping to encourage participants to experiment and build their ideas using tangible materials and tools.

[What is the Global Plastic Upcycle MAKEathon Challenge?]

Participants will be teamed up and work to



Ultimately, your innovation will

        Create sustainable entrepreneurial opportunities for Nepali homes and for your future career

        Create collective forces to effectively act against plastic waste problem and climate crisis

        Last but not least, you will have lots of FUN!

[UN Sustainable Development Goals]

The MAKEathon will contribute to achieving several of the UN SGDs. Such as

        No 1. No poverty

        No 3. Good health and well-being

        No 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

        No 12. Sustainable production and consumption

        No 13. Climate action

        No 17. Partnerships for the goals



        Application Deadline (online): 23rd March 2022

        Selection Announcement (email): 25th March 2022

        MAKEathon Kick-off (online): 1st April 2022

        MAKEathon Ideation (online + offline): 2nd-3rd April 2022

        MAKEathon Prototyping (offline): 4th-9th April 2022

        MAKEathon Final Pitch (online+offline): 10th April 2022


        Online: Zoom, Slack and Miro

        Offline: FabLab Nepal in Kathmandu, Seoul Innovation FabLab in South Korea


[How MAKEathon works]


The event is run in English.


During the event, we offer a series of inspiring online webinars, mentoring, online ideation tools and platforms, and access to the prototyping facilities (in Nepal and South Korea).

The participants will have a chance to meet talented, like-minded people around the world online and work in teams to create new business ideas and create prototypes.

Day 1 is for Intro and Inspiration. Teams are introduced to the MAKEathon challenge and attend the expert webinars on the challenge.

Day 2 is for idea scoping and mentoring. Teams work together virtually to develop ideas through brainstorming, sketching, prototyping and business modelling via Zoom, Slack and Miro with the support of mentors.

Days 3 are for idea refining and finalisation. Teams are guided to develop their business model and prototypes and the final pitch.

There is a week between Day 3 and 4, for prototyping at FabLabs (where possible)

Day 4 is the final day for the final pitches and the award ceremony. 




 NB. Due to the time differences between countries, teams are free to arrange their time to suit their time zones and daily schedules.


Global Plastic Upcycle MAKEathon is open to innovative individuals aged 18+ from all backgrounds and genders, including:

        Aspiring entrepreneurs

        Ambitious innovators and nudgers

        Compelling storytellers and communicators

        Creative makers and designers

        Researchers, scientists, and sociologists

        People who observe others and get a kick out of solving difficult challenges

You DO NOT need to be a professional in plastic recycling technology. Just be willing to bring your expertise, passion and team spirit to work collaboratively to solve the challenge. PEOPLE FROM ALL DISCIPLINES, ESPECIALLY FROM PLASTIC RECYCLING, DESIGN, ENGINEERING AND BUSINESS ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. We are committed to diversity and members of under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.


Register here: https://forms.gle/9P9PXaWjdcEWvMD39

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Places are limited, so apply early to avoid disappointment!

Both teams[1] and individuals are encouraged to apply.

If you register but cannot attend the event anymore, please inform the organisers ASAP to allow us to allocate new members from the waiting list.


[MAKEathon Requirements]

Teams are required to submit the below final materials by 9th April 2022.

One page summary of the concept (template will be provided)

        No longer than 3 min pre-recorded presentation pitch video covering:

o   Project title

o   Team name and members

o   Challenge and problem statement

o   Innovation concept and how it works

o   Business model and target market

o   Next steps, necessary resources, and implementation plan

        Submissions must be in English

[Evaluation Criteria]

        Innovation & Integrity: Is it addressing the MAKEathon challenge? Is it a creative and original solution for the challenge?

        Sustainability Impact: When scaled up, will the solution create enough social and environmental value?

        Business potential: Is the business model viable? Is it applicable to the real world market and consumers? Is the commercial opportunity scalable?

        Team & Pitch: Is the team enthusiastic to continue the entrepreneurial journey? Is the pitch compelling?

        Prototype: Does the prototype demonstrate the concept effectively? Is the innovation concept technically feasible?


        10-Month Start-Up incubation programme in Kathmandu

        Professional prototyping service of the idea


[About us]

THe MAKEathon is led by Centre for Industrial Sustainability, Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK.

The MAKEathon is a part of the project funded by Sustainable Manufacturing & Environmental Pollution (SMEP) and the UK aid from the UK government, and Field Ready UK and Impact Hub Kathmandu (former Nepal Communitere) are the consortium partners.



Our MAKEathon partners are

        Impact Hub Nepal

        Field Ready

        BK Sustainable Living Paradigm Research and Education Programme, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea

        Seoul Innovation FabLab, Seoul, South Korea

        Precious Plastic Slovakia






By entering the MAKEathon, you agree to the following legally binding Terms of Entry. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE, DO NOT ENTER THE COMPETITION.


Participants will work with their team using the online platforms and/or FabLab facilities. Zoom is for synchronous activities and discussions: for example for introductions, webinars, pitch selection, and team ideation, sharing sketches and mentoring sessions. Slack is used mainly as the project repository of information across all teams with fellow participants, mentors, juries, and the event organisers. Miro will be used for brainstorming and in-team idea-sharing.


There is no charge for participation.


The submission project/idea must be new and unique. Additionally, it must address the challenge of the competition.


All the ideas and designs generated from the MAKEathon will be publicly exposed as open-source materials. If you do not want to retain the Intellectual Property Rights of your ideas and do not want to share your ideas with others, please DO NOT apply.

The participants can create NEW ideas AND / OR bring in their own existing designs and ideas provided the Intellectual Property Rights are not breached. The MAKEathon event organisers do not have responsibility for the IP rights that the participants decided to use. It is their own responsibility to exploit and expose the idea with others.

No material submitted or presented in the MAKEThon will be treated as open-source and participants are entirely responsible for any decision to communicate ideas, being in mind publication prevents patenting.

Participants therefore must consider carefully what they disclose and not disclose any information or material which they regard as patentable technology or commercially sensitive information.

Any disputes between participants or within or outside teams will be for the participants/teams to resolve.

2. Intellectual Property:

2.1 Material submitted to MAKEthon will be shown to the facilitators, mentors and juries.

2.2 The University can disclose online in a publicly discoverable fashion without the originator’s consent any presentations, photos including zoom screenshots, prototypes, audio, or video recordings.

2.3 All participants guarantee they have checked that they are not including any third party ideas or material and/or they have all the permissions they need to use anyone else’s input to their prototype (including any member of staff, supervisor, other students, employers, work colleagues, friends).

2.4 The MAKEathon organisers do not claim ownership of any materials submitted or prototypes created.


We expect all participants to follow high ethical standards. Show respect to all participants, attempt collaboration before conflict, and refrain from demeaning comments.

This is a harassment-free event for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. If you're aware of any harassment, please report it immediately to event organisers.


The personal details provided at registration will be used strictly only for MAKEathon administration purposes.

For full details of the IfM's policy https://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/privacy-policy/

1.1 The MAKEathon organisers will use the information on your application form to administer and promote the MAKEathon and further events of a similar nature.

1.2 All participants agree that the University’s Institute for Manufacturing may promote this event including photographs taken at the event. If you are not willing to be photographed, tell the organiser.

1.3 The MAKEathon organisers also has the right to use for advertisement in the publicity statements or events, including all types of media, both print and online:

        the process photos (excluding the final prototypes)

        short descriptions (provided by the teams)

        all participating teams’ names and likenesses

2. Platform provider terms – video conferencing/collaboration providers

When deciding to disclose material via the IT platforms being used for the Virtual MAKEathon, please consider the platform providers terms and conditions, including any data they collect about you or use of your content. You must familiarise yourself with their specific terms and condition for:

        Zoom https://zoom.us/privacy

        Miro https://miro.com/security/

        Slack https://slack.com/intl/en-kr/privacy-policy

[1] Up to 3 members can for a team. Even if you are applying as a team, please register individually and specify the team name in the application form.