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International Development Research @ Cambridge



Alexandra Grigore is a PhD Student at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology and the co-Founder and Director of Innovation of Simprints, a tech start-up backed by ARM, USAID, DFID and the Gates Foundation to develop low-cost biometrics for patient identification in developing countries.

Alexandra researches the interaction between acoustic waves and nuclear spins, working on a novel nanoscale characterization technique.

At Simprints, Alexandra is helping provide a low-cost, secure, and reliable identification tool, bridging the gap of 1.1 billion people worldwide who have no birth certificates or any official ID, which hinders health organizations to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients in many developing countries. Simprints’ goal is to radically disrupt the inaccurate way we currently track and deliver progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, and instead build a world where every person actually counts in the fight against poverty.

Alexandra's personal motivation in joining Cambridge Global Challenges is making progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals by bringing technology from the lab bench into the world, where it can have a social impact.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


Join the Interdisciplinary Research Centre

Register to Cambridge Global Challenges and to the IRC's mailing list here.


Learn about the support we provide 

Learn how Cambridge Global Challenges can support your research here.


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