Chinese students Mei Ran Abellona and Kitty Liao, who have developed a vaccine delivery system for the developing world, finished second overall and top in the medical category of the Mayor of London's International Student Innovation Award 2016 on Wednesday.
Another Chinese student Yin Fan Huen finished 8th. Yin developed a device which can detect and then control abnormal movements to allow Parkinson's sufferers to carry out everyday tasks like drinking a cup of tea or holding a knife and fork.
However, Luca Alessandrini, a post graduate from Imperial College London, who beat hundreds of other entries from 49 different countries and 17 universities, created with a violin made from a mixture of spider silk and resin to earn the top prize.
When the violin is played, the spider silk vibrates the instrument's casing, emitting a sound which can be customized by tweaking the exact blend of the material. The combination of silk and resin produces a unique tone which can be altered by blending different quantities of the raw materials.
Luca, who won the 10,000-pound (about 12,294 U.S. dollars) top prize, said the new material could allow the acoustics of instruments and sound equipment to be customized with a degree of control that is difficult to obtain with other modern materials such as carbon fibre.
Luca, originally from Urbino, Italy, said that "studying in London has been one of the best experiences in my life and this incredible initiative will allow me to bring my project closer to reality."
Abellona and Liao's medical vaccine cooling system has a unique recyclable and temperature controlled system which allows vaccines to be kept cool over an indefinite period of time. The inventors said that millions of dollars are wasted on vaccines which perish during the last mile of their journey and their innovation could save lives around the world.
Eliot Forster, CEO of British biotech company Immunocore, said: "I was saddened, but not surprised, to find out that up to 50 percent of vaccines perish during the final mile to children in the developing world. This everlasting cooling storage is addressing a problem that many have tried and failed to do and could help every child get vaccinated against the deadliest diseases, no matter the journey it has to take.
"It's inspiring to see Mei combine her biomedical research experience with an entrepreneurial spirit to create a force for good that can be used anywhere in the world," said Forster.
Third place went to German student Elena Dieckmann, who has recycled chicken feathers into building materials such as water repellent paint and a range of consumer goods including tooth brushes.
Kevin McCarthy, head of education and culture of London & Partners, which created the innovation awards, told Xinhua that the works of the Chinese students were very creative. He hoped Chinese and other international students would take London as a base to start their innovation.
The International Student Innovation Awards 2016 was set up to highlight the work of the city's international students and also to provide some financial help to assist students in taking their innovation to the next stage of development. It was devised by London & Partners, the Mayor's official promotional company.