First Global Challenge

The University of Geneva took part in the 2022 edition of the First Global Challenge, the olympics-style robotics competition. 2'000 young students from all over the world came to tackle the issue of CO2 emissions through technology. 

Rector Yves Flückiger opened the Ceremony alongside President Martin Vetterli (EPFL), Mr. Daniel Loeffler (Geneva Canton), State Secretary  Martina Hirayama (SERI), Dr. Peter Diamandis (XPrize), Mr. Paul Ryan (speaker of the United States House of Representatives) and Mr. Dean Kamen (founder of First Global).


"As a comprehensive university we are well positioned to conceive new applications spanning all disciplines. Applications that have a positive impact on society, provide real solutions and can be integrated into every-day life."


Mr. Daniel Loeffler, Prof. Dimitri Konstantas, Rector Flückiger and, in the background, the humanoid social robot Nadine at the Centre Universitaire d'Informatique (CUI) booth. First of its kind, Nadine was programmed by professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann.


 PhD Candidates Aleksa Djorovic and Tessa Basso with Professor Jean-Pierre Wolf.

They represented the Dept. of Applied Physics from the Faculty of Science. Given the First Global Challenge overall theme of carbon capture, their booth showcased some of the projects from the Faculty of Science that have wide socio-economic impacts. For example, the use of lasers in vineyards for smart agriculture with the aim of providing winemakers additional tools to prevent fungal diseases spreading on their vines with the goal of limiting the use of pesticides. Another project concerns using lasers to protect large sensitive areas, like forests and nuclear power plants, from lightning. The Laser Lightning Rod project aims to use high power lasers and the phenomenon of filamentation to discharge storm clouds and guide lightning - something we have already demonstrated during last year's Säntis campaign.


Dr. Daria Robinson (GESDA), Prof. Wolf (UNIGE), Dr. Anousheh Ansari (XPrize)



Swiss team wins the 1st prize in the alliance challenge (alliance with 4 other countries)