300 Saudi university undergrad entrepreneurs compete at KAUST

May 07, 2019

THUWAL, SAUDI ARABIA — Around 300 undergraduate students from 20 Saudi universities from around the Kingdom gathered at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to compete in the STEAM Innovation Challenge.

The 48 teams were on a mission to find solutions to global challenges that affect the environment, health, smart cities, quality of living, safety and security.

The STEAM challenge, short for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, took place May 2-4 and is the seventh in KAUST and the largest yet.

This year’s STEAM was in partnership with Northrop Grumman, General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and Elm.

The three-day challenge, organized by the Innovation & Economic Development department at KAUST, took the participants through different levels of the ideation stage from problem definition to pitching and marketing.

“We designed STEAM Innovation Challenge to inspire youth in Saudi Arabia on a national scale by immersing them in an intensive innovation experience,” said Hattan Ahmed, head of KAUST Entrepreneurship Center.

“The students addressed real challenges around the topic of sustainable cities crafted in collaboration with our corporate partners,” he added.

The winning projects were iCare — a bracelet to monitor pilgrims’ vitals and reports accidents to healthcare providers for better Haj; Cure — incentivizing the collection of unused household medications for distribution to relief organizations for better living; EHFADHHA — demand prediction software for food retailers.

The STEAM Innovation Challenge is an annual intensive ideation program where mixed interdisciplinary team members work together to create innovative concepts to solve pressing challenges nationally and globally. — SG

May 07, 2019
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