Philips and DEC launch innovation competition for UAE university students

Press release
Published May 12th, 2014 - 08:21 GMT

Philips and the Dubai Economic Council (DEC) today launched their community competition ‘Spirit of Innovation’. This initiative has been designed to encourage the adoption of open-innovation strategies in the UAE, by asking university students to develop sustainable solutions for the country’s current and future challenges in both energy efficiency and health and well-being. 

The aim of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ competition is to raise the awareness of the importance of innovation amongst UAE’s future leaders while highlighting the value of team work, leadership, discovering creative potential and strategic thinking. Traditionally, innovation was a topic addressed primarily by engineering students; however Philips and the DEC recognize the value of continuous innovation in all sectors, and have therefore made the competition available to all students, across all disciplines. 

As a company focused on its mission of improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation, Philips aims to deliver solutions that mobilize all residents in the UAE and across the Middle East to be healthy, live well and enjoy life. Philips is also focused on developing solutions that meet local needs and believes the best way to do this is in conjunction with the local leaders of the future, assisting them with gaining important skills during the process. 

“The Spirit of Innovation competition is a great opportunity for UAE university students to showcase their innovative spirit,” said H.E. Hani R. Al Hamli, DEC Secretary General. “To ensure further growth of the region, and its successful transformation into a knowledge-based economy, it is crucial to raise awareness for the importance of innovation to UAE’s young future leaders.” he added. Mr. Al Hamli stressed that the move stems from the DEC’s vision to be a strategic partner for the government of Dubai in economic decision-making. “The Innovation initiative is a good start in the UAE’s vision milestone to turn to knowledge-based economy” Al Hamli added. 

“We are proud to have launched an initiative that fosters innovation in the region, and supports the Dubai Economic Council in developing the Emirates to become a center of excellence in the future,” said Roy Jakobs, CEO of Royal Philips in the Middle East and Turkey. “As a technology company, with innovation at its core, we are always looking for opportunities to improve people´s live through meaningful innovations.” he added.

The competition which will take entries on a specially developed website will take place in three phases throughout the year, the first of which commences today.In the final phase Philips will offer mentoring opportunities and workshops to the finalists in Dubai.  The lucky winner of the competition will be rewarded an internship at the Philips at its home office in the Netherlands, and receive an outstanding recommendation letter for future employment opportunities. Furthermore, the top ideas will be displayed at the Philips Middle East & Turkey Headquarters. 

Students will be able to access more information about the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ competition on the website,, where they can find inspiration, share ideas and drive the conversation about innovation using social media networks.

Background Information


At Philips, we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation. Our goal is to improve the lives of 3 billion people a year by 2030. We will be the best place to work for people who share our passion. Together we will deliver superior value for our customers and shareholders.


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