20 shortlisted university students across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia compete to showcase their innovations using engineering, technology, science and computing
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: In an effort to recognise and support the brightest and most innovative young minds the world, GITEX Technology Week has launched an Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-focused Student Lab competition this year. An overwhelming interest in the competition has resulted in hundreds of submissions from students across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia with 20 students currently shortlisted to submit their one-of-a-kind projects. Come 1 September 2013, 10 finalists will be selected by a jury committee and the best projects will be presented to representatives from leading ICT companies across the globe.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MoPA) and held in association with Google as a part of its commitment to supporting education initiatives, the Student Lab competition is designed to provide an opportunity for students to experience presenting their innovative solutions to ICT leaders by leveraging the region's leading industry platform, GITEX Technology Week. Students from leading regional universities have proposed technologies using their skills in engineering sciences and computing with software solutions, gaming platforms, mobile applications, personal products and robotic devices, among others, being submitted. The competition also provides a platform to recognise leading universities in the region that nurture students who will become the ICT leaders of the future.
The top three entries will stand the chance to win cash prizes and training opportunities in the industry with winners to be announced during GITEX Technology Week on 24 October 2013. In addition, all entrants will retain Intellectual Property (IP) ownership of their projects and will have the opportunity to negotiate a license fee through the UAE Ministry of Economy's Intellectual Property Protection Department (IPPD) and/or through the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Patent Office if any company considers making use of their innovation.
The 20 students shortlisted to submit their final projects hail from: Al Ain University of Science and Technology (UAE), American University in Dubai (UAE), American University of Sharjah (UAE), An-Najah National University (Palestine), BITS Pilani Dubai (UAE), Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE), Jomo Kenyatta University (Kenya), Kenya Methodist University (Kenya), Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (UAE), Manipal University (UAE), King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia), UAE University (UAE), University of Boumerdes UMBB (Algeria), University of Wollongong in Dubai (UAE).
H.E. Ahmed Mohammed Al Humairi, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, sponsor of the Student Lab competition, said: “With R&D and technology innovation essential to the growth and competitiveness of the ICT sector, and some of the most successful ICT companies originating in universities, we are eager to extend our support to initiatives like the GITEX Technology Week Student Lab competition. Increased collaboration between industry, universities and governments can only spur innovation and R&D efforts for the UAE and the wider region.”
Abdel Wahed Bendaoua, Head of Enterprise, Emerging Markets – EMEA at Google, said: “We are excited to participate as a Student Labs partner at Gitex 2013. Education is a big priority for Google, and we look forward to sharing our experience to help more people discover, connect with, and love learning.”
According to the Global Information Technology Report 2013 by the World Economic Forum and INSEAD business school, the UAE moved up five places in the general ranking of the report, taking 25th place internationally. The report, covering 144 countries this year, ranks countries in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies (ICTs) to boost national competitiveness. According to the report findings the UAE also jumped 30 places to become the second in the world and the first in the Middle East and Africa region in the “Government Usage of ICT”. The report stated that as the UAE implements its long-term strategy to diversify its economy, the government has continued to drive the development of the ICT industry decisively and to expand the use of ICTs to all segments of the economy and society.
Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President for Dubai World Trade Centre said: “As the UAE is on track to creating a knowledge based economy that is driven by innovation, it is imperative for a leading ICT event such as GITEX Technology Week to nurture future ICT innovators. It is our aim that the Student Lab competition will help students to realise their potential and create a bridge between industry leaders and students who will eventually shape and influence the ICT industry in the future.”
To be held from 20 - 24 October 2013 at Dubai World Trade Centre, GITEX connects more than 139,000 industry professionals from 144 countries and over 3,500 suppliers from 54 countries across five continents, and has long established its position as one of the industry's most lucrative ICT platforms. With Dubai a regional technology hub, GITEX Technology Week is a pivotal event for local, regional and global technology companies based in the Middle East and beyond.
About GITEX Technology Week
Launched in 1981, GITEX is the ICT business gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Region.
Focused on providing exhibitors with high ROI through direct business opportunities with decision makers, GITEX has maintained its position as the industry's trend setting authority. For more information, visit www.gitex.com