The Assistive Technology Center 'Mada' announced the opening of nominations for the 2nd edition of the Mada Innovation Award 2023 with a total of one million Qatari riyals, adding that the registration deadline is September 15, 2023.
The Mada Innovation Award is the first award of its kind that aims to promote innovative technological solutions in Arabic that enhance digital accessibility for persons with disabilities, including hardware, software, or smartphone applications.
The award is launched as part of the Innovation Program, which is designed to provide opportunities for new innovative entities, individuals, and institutions that already have a "proven concept" for a product or service, to establish themselves in the market. The selected applicants will be provided with a grant through the Mada Innovation Program to develop the proposed product or service to meet the needs of the local and Arab markets.
The award was a great success in its first edition with 130 innovations and technological solutions and seven winners in the various streams of the award. The award aims to raise the awareness of programmers, technology makers, and mobile application developers of the importance of creating and developing innovations that serve persons with disabilities who form a good percentage of technology users, by using websites, applications, or digital platforms.
The award also aims to increase the total number of digital solutions in the market and promote accessibility solutions at the international level, in addition to supporting innovators in the various stages of the process of developing accessible solutions. The winning ideas will be invested in to be part of the Mada Innovation Program.
The award is divided into two streams: The Direct Grants stream is designed to provide opportunities for new innovative entities that already have a "Proven Concept" for a product or service to establish themselves in the market. Applicants selected for this stream will be provided with a grant through the MADA Innovation Program to develop the proposed product/service concept to cater to the local and Arab markets.
The second stream is Localization, which is designed to conduct Arabization to support solutions in Arabic for persons with disabilities. This track targets international entities that already have an existing product or service that supports digital access to ICTs and assistive technologies and wish to translate their products into Arabic.
Through a combination of entrepreneurship support streams, Mada aims to provide a mechanism to bring relevant innovative assistive technologies and accessibility products and services to the local market and beyond. This will enhance the lives of PWDs in Qatar and the Arab world, encourage the creation of a private sector market in Qatar that meets the needs of the Arab world, and raise awareness of assistive technology among innovators.
Mada Center launched this award out of its belief in the technology that is adapted and integrated with assistive technology and its ability to provide value-added services to persons with disabilities all over the world. This supports innovation in this field allowing users to benefit from integrated and accessible services of high quality and to discover new levels of well-being that help build capabilities and unlock potential. Through this award, Mada Center seeks to urge individuals and institutions to come up with new technical and software solutions that will make a real difference in the lives of persons with disabilities.