The past 12 months have seen a remarkable number of humanitarian crises with earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and deadly tornadoes in the southern US being among the most recent.
Among new innovations which could help relief efforts is a fabric shelter that, when sprayed with water, turns to concrete within 24 hours.
Invented by two engineers while at university, Concrete Canvas allows aid teams to construct solid structures in emergency zones quickly and easily.
Will Crawford and Peter Brewin showed BBC News how the concrete tent is put together and spoke about what inspired them.
Skipping lightly over the “new innovations” tautology, it’s this kind of original thinking that we should be encouraging in this country. Reliance on service and financial sectors isn’t going to help the UK out of the mess we’re in.