The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) yesterday held the digital launch of the second cycle of Challenge 22, with the participation of partners and ambassadors across 10 Arab countries.
Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the UAE are the countries covered by Challenge 22, an innovation award launched in 2015 to promote a culture of innovation in the region and attract entrepreneurs, scientists and pioneers from across the Arab world.
It showcases ideas that can contribute towards the hosting and organisation of major events like the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, while building a sustainable, economically diverse future for the region.
Challenge 22’s second edition is launched in co-operation with SC strategic partners; Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Wamda and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enterprise Forum Pan-Arab.
This year, Challenge 22 aims to attract talents to propose innovative solutions to the challenges facing major events, whether in Qatar, across the Arab world, or other regions of the world. The second cycle of the challenge covers four key fields: sustainability, health and safety, the Internet of things, and fan experience.
Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of SC, explained that “Challenge 22 aims to utilise the occasion of hosting the FIFA World Cup to help develop the community of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Arab world by offering participants the opportunity to turn their ideas into actual projects that can be seen and used by many around the world in 2022.”
Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, executive director of the QNRF, described Challenge 22 as an opportunity not only to invest in and develop Arab talent, but also to introduce the potential that the region possesses to hundreds of millions of people around the world.
The winning ideas in the second cycle of Challenge 22 will be awarded prizes of $15,000 each. They will also receive mentoring and guidance from leading scientists and researchers in the region. Those with the best ideas will also receive up to $100,000 in grant funding to develop their ideas to proof of concept stage.
Habib Haddad, CEO, Wamda, was of the view that Challenge 22 gives all the partners involved the opportunity to unify their efforts towards cultivating a community of innovators and entrepreneurs in the Arab world and help the region’s most talented individuals turn their ideas into a reality.
Hala Fadel, founding member and chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan-Arab, described Challenge 22 as a valuable opportunity for innovators in the region to showcase their ideas on a global scale, while also showing the world the abilities that exist in the Arab region.
Challenge 22 roadshow will commence on 3 October 2016 and will last for five weeks, covering all countries included in this year’s edition. Participation is open to all citizens and residents of the 10 Arab countries involved in the challenge. Individuals or teams of up to four people may submit their ideas before December 12, 2016.
The initial proposals will then go through a two rounds of review, after which finalists will be invited to Doha to develop their ideas further in workshops, along with a group of specialised mentors. The detailed presentations of their ideas will then be submitted to a live final judging panel to determine the winning ideas.
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