Qatari innovator wins Stars of Science title

November 09, 2012 - 4:29:10 am

Dr Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, President of Hamad bin Khalifa University and Vice President, Education, at Qatar Foundation (fifth left), and other officials during a press conference at the Museum of Islamic Art yesterday. Abdul Basit

Doha: After a thrilling nine weeks, the waiting was over for four young Arab innovators last night as the overall winner of Stars of Science Series 4 was announced in an exciting live finale here.

With a combined Jury and Public score of 30.9 percent, Khaled Abu Jassoum from Qatar claimed this year’s title as Stars of Science Series 4 overall winner, walking away with a first prize of $300,000 to help develop his invention “Tahi”.

Following Khaled Abu Jassoum in second place was Mohamad Watfa “Shared” who will receive $150,000, with Khaled Eid “Holific” and Jaber Henzab “Wasfa” who will each receive $100,000 and $50,000.

“I am so proud to have won first place of this season’s Stars of Science competition,” said Khaled Abu Jassoum.

“I would not have been able reach this far without the help of my fellow candidates, the mentors, judges and of course Qatar Foundation who supported this initiative and believed in young Arab innovators such as myself,” he said.

Four prizes were also awarded to unsuspecting candidates, with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) offering Hekmat Alrouh from Syria the chance to join the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme - a nine-month, executive education programme.

Khaled Abu Jassoum lauded Qatar Foundation for empowering human potential through the programme. 

He hopes ‘Automated Cooking Pot’, his invention which is a simple cooking tool designed to automatically mix ingredients as well as store recipes will facilitate preparation of healthy meals for every family.

Compatriot and finalist Jaber Henzab also presented his invention ‘Automated Home Pharmacy’, which aims to help the elderly be independent taking their prescribed medication on time.

“This is not the end, but just the beginning of my journey. After Stars of Science. I want to encourage more youths to carry on to turn their ideas into reality,” Khaled Eid, one of the four finalists, told media prior to the much-anticipated finals last night.

From hundreds of promising inventors from Arab countries aged 18 to 30 who auditioned, four were chosen to advance to the final. Before the finale, all four finalists inspired over a hundred students of Qatar Academy when they visited them.

Dr Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, President of Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Vice President, Education, at Qatar Foundation, said the programme has reached another milestone having generated much attention from young viewers and providing answer to the problem of lack of interest among Arab youths on science.

He disclosed the tremendous increase in viewership with 470,000 YouTube views, over 330,000 website hits, more than 300,000 likes on Facebook and 3,410 Twitter followers.

“The Arab youth are the future and they can compete with youths from around the world if given the chance and Stars of Science is the first programme that does that, giving the future generation motivation that innovation is important and that they can be innovators,” said Dr Farouk El Baz, VIP juror.

Prof Ibrahim Saleh Al Naimi, permanent juror, said the programme provides support to innovators to transform ideas into reality, with their inventions turned into products that could compete in the global market.

Dr Fouad Mrad, permanent juror, lauded the programme as a format that can be exported to the world. He also said Qatar has the right environment that could pave the way to a knowledge-based society.

QNA/The Peninsula