DOHA, Qatar, October 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Innovators Advance to Next Stage in Elimination Episode on MBC4
Dynamic young innovators Hassan Albalawi of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Nadim Rifai of Palestine advanced in an intense elimination episode of Stars of Science, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development's (QF) "edutainment reality" TV program, airing on MBC4. Their triumph in the engineering stage came at the expense of fellow candidates Hazem Khaled of Egypt and Naouel Ayari of Tunisia, who fell short in the eyes of the jury.
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The program sees young innovators compete against each other to turn their creative ideas into reality and is part of QF's mission to encourage Arab youth to reach their potential while fostering and providing a platform to facilitate success. Twelve candidates aged 18 to 30 from across the Arab world travel to Doha, Qatar, where they are mentored by world-class engineering and design specialists in the laboratories of Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), a member of Qatar Foundation. There, the innovators take on challenges as they develop their ideas from a concept to a potential product.
In this first of three elimination rounds during the engineering stage, the candidates presented their prototypes to an expert panel of jurors. The group, with one computer scientist as well as one Master's and two doctoral students, used its academic firepower to develop projects aimed to make life easier in vastly different ways.
Both Hazem and Hassan used advanced technology with innovative thinking to solve age-old problems. Hazem's Sign Language EMG Sleeve is designed to translate hand movements to words and sounds to ease communication for the deaf. Hassan's EEG Cap Analyzer uses sensors to measure and alert users to drowsiness.
Nadim's Rewarding Behavior Treadmill, an app and sensor that integrates gameplay and incentives to make exercising on a treadmill more fun, improves fitness by rewarding healthy behavior. Naouel's Learning Fridge is a creative re-thinking of a familiar appliance. By monitoring the food in a user's fridge, it recommends recipes, compiles shopping lists and encourages efficient and healthy consumption.
Dr. Francois Gilardoni, a prominent venture capitalist and scientist, judged the candidates alongside perennial jurors Mr. Youssif Abdulrahman Al-Salhi, General Manager of Qatar Shell Research and Technology Center and Professor Fouad Mrad, Executive Director of the United Nations ESCWA regional technology center.
The trio assessed the candidates' projects from different angles and lent their expertise on a number of issues. The jurors pointed out that it would be difficult for Hazem's Sign Language EMG Sleeve to account for the extensive signing variations and styles of deaf people. They also debated about Naouel's Learning Fridge prototype, including whether consumers would want to take a significant amount of time to enter data for every new item placed in the fridge.
Nadim worked hard to dispel any doubt regarding the originality of his invention and convince Dr. Gilardoni, an experienced evaluator of health-focused startups, that his Rewarding Behavior Treadmill is unique in the market. Dr. Mrad congratulated Hassan on proving that his device could accurately detect drowsiness but questioned him on how he would make his cap fashionable enough for people, especially youth, to wear.
The jury scored the young innovators based on prototype performance (50 percent), product outlook (30 percent) and the resourcefulness and leadership exhibited by the candidate (20 percent).
Host Khaled Al Jumaily revealed the final results to the nervous candidates, inciting cheers of joy from Hassan and Nadim, who advanced to the next round by virtue of earning the two highest scores. The Stars of Science journey ended for Naouel and Hazem, who failed to convince the jury of their projects' viability.
"Stars of Science has tested and developed my resilience, analytical skills, and ability to adapt to challenges. The program shows that although innovation is difficult, it is within our grasp," said Hassan after the episode. "I hope that by seeing our experiences on Stars of Science, others will be inspired to find the innovator inside them as well."
The next Stars of Science episode will see four more candidates face the jury - and possible elimination - in the engineering stage. It will be shown on Friday, October 23rd, at 7PM KSA/ 4PM GMT on MBC4. The four finalists who survive the engineering and design elimination rounds earn a share of the $600,000 prize, with the winner being determined in a special live final episode.
Stars of Science
Stars of Science, an "edutainment reality" TV format initiated by Qatar Foundation, is the region's leading innovation program. Stars of Science fosters and advances the Arab world's aspiring science and technology entrepreneurs. In this seventh season, 12 candidates are challenged to prove their resourcefulness during critical stages of the innovation cycle while collaborating with industry leading mentors. An expert panel of jurors assesses and eliminates candidates and their innovative products in Engineering and Design episodes until only four remain. These four finalists vie for a share of a $600,000 prize, determined by a jury deliberation and voting from the public.
Stars of Science airs from Friday, September 18th, to Friday, November 20th, 2015 on MBC4.
Qatar Foundation - Unlocking Human Potential
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF) is a private, non-profit organization that is supporting Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential, for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world. Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir, QF is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
QF's work encompasses education, research and community development. World-class universities are brought to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. At the same time, QF builds Qatar's innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercializing solutions through key sciences. The Foundation also works to foster a progressive society while enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar's heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
About MBC Group
MBC Group (Middle East Broadcasting Center) is the largest and leading private media company in the Middle East & North Africa region. For the past 23 years, MBC Group was able to enrich people's lives through information, interaction and entertainment. In 2002, nearly a decade after the launch of MBC1 in London, back in 1991, and as the 1st private free-to-air Arab satellite TV channel, MBC Group moved its headquarters to Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates, where it remains.
Today, MBC Group includes 20 TV channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment); MBC2 and MBC MAX (24-hour western movies); MBC3 (children's edutainment with a mix of both local productions and western acquisitions); MBC4 (entertainment for young families with a female-focus); MBC Action (an indigenous adrenaline-packed channel targeting young males with local and homegrown productions); MBC Variety (Western films and general entertainment with uninterrupted broadcasting); Al Arabiya News Channel (the 24-hour Arabic language news channel); Al Hadath (an extension of Al Arabiya News Channel with a specific focus on real events in the Arab world and beyond); Wanasah (24-hour Arabic music channel); MBC DRAMA (24/7 Arabic drama); MBC MASR (general family entertainment geared towards the Egyptian family); MBC MASR 2 (providing the Egyptian audience with superior quality entertainment, in addition to live coverage of some of the Egyptian league's football matches); MBC + Drama (a joint paid-for channel between MBC and OSN); MBC Bollywood (delivering the freshest in Bollywood content geared towards the region via an Arabized interface); and most recently four sports channels, MBC PRO SPORTS (geared towards the "Saudi Football Premier League" fans in the Kingdom); and MBC USA (the channel is present on "Dish Network" in the US, and targets Arab audiences aboard; the channel is dedicated to offer and broadcast a wide range of content from the prominent MBC channels including movies, series and global formats).
In July 2011, seven channels within MBC Group began to broadcast in HD across the MENA Region: MBC1 HD, MBC2 HD, MBC4 HD, MBC Action HD, MBC Drama HD, MBC Max HD and Al Arabiya HD. In 2013, MBC3 HD joined the collection of HD channels followed by MBC Variety HD in 2014.
MBC Group also includes two FM radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music) and Panorama FM (contemporary Arabic hit music); as well as O3 Productions, a premium content drama production company. Furthermore, MBC Group includes online platforms: http://www.mbc.net, http://www.alarabiya.net, http://www.shahid.net (the first free VOD and catch-up portal in the Arab world) and http://www.actionha.net, and http://www.mbcprosports.net among others.
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SOURCE Stars of Science