SOS Alumni Highlight Importance of Innovation in Talk
High school and university students gained new insights into the world of scientific innovation and entrepreneurship during the inaugural Stars of Science (SOS) Talk, an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), to strengthen the research and development ecosystem within Qatar, as well as, within other Arab countries.
To empower the next generation of budding innovators who attended the session, distinguished Stars of Science alumni shared their success stories, while the finalists of Season 11 explained their inventions and invited people to vote for them with hopes of wining the show during the weekend’s Grand Final.
Held at the Minaretein Auditorium at the Education City Mosque, the event provided youth in Qatar the unique opportunity to meet with 14 Arab innovators; some of whom have had the chance to introduce their innovative technologies throughout the region and the world.
“As a pioneering initiative of Qatar Foundation, the dedicated role of Stars of Science is to provide a supportive and incubating environment for young Arab talent that would contribute to fostering a culture of innovation and creativity in science, and provide solutions to contemporary challenges that are related to this field,” said Khalifa E. Al-Kubaisi, Manager, Media Relations & Press Office, QF.
“This TV program has a special value, not because it focuses only on supporting innovation, but also because it is the only Arabic-speaking reality TV program that fosters innovation and creativity in the region. Through the inaugural SOS Talk, we aim to provide another inspiring source for future generations to unleash their potential and become researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs.”
As Stars of Science boasts a track record of involving Arab women in scientific innovation, SOS Talk featured several female alumni who reached out to young girls in the audience and described what it meant to be a woman working in the field of science, while highlighting the value that women bring to science and entrepreneurship. Some of the alumni offered insights into experiences of becoming a mother and an entrepreneur simultaneously – a “mom-preneur”.
The three Stars of Science Season 11 finalists presented their innovations and encouraged the audience to vote for them online. Abdulrahman Saleh Khamis, from Qatar, showed his Interactive Educational Prayer Carpet, a new technology incorporating sensors and a digital screen in order to help Muslims better perform their prayers.
He said, “Today, I have reached the finals of Stars of Science, and I strongly believe that the product is successful and that it will have a big impact on the market, especially as the number of Muslims increase by nearly 3 million every year. Modern technological tools are needed to help Muslims, especially children and new converts, pray correctly."
Nuha Abu Yousef displayed her Active Lazy Eyelid Sticker, which stimulates muscles in the eyelid to help patients with afflicted facial muscles regain control over their affected upper and lower eyelids.
She said, “Although I faced many challenges, I am happy to have reached this stage and to become one of the top three participants of the program. Being a mother of two children is not easy, but I do not think about this in a negative way. Instead, it encourages me to finish my journey and set an example for my children.”
Youssef El Azouzi explained how his Flow Modulator Stent helps congestive heart failure patients by improving blood distribution efficiency and preventing further systemic fluid retention in the heart.
“After I introduced my invention during Stars of Science, I received a call from a a person I didn’t know, who told me that my project gave her hope as it would help many patients who suffer from heart failure. She told me the story of her younger brother who died because of this disease, which in itself motivated me to finish the project," he said.
The youth in attendance also heard from 11 successful Stars of Science alumni and how they made their mark in the world of Arab innovation. They addressed topics such as brand licensing, tech trends, and innovation entrepreneurship, as well as the importance and prominence of women in science and business.
Dr. Walid Albanna, a neurosurgeon and Season 10 winner, encouraged attendees to adopt a persistent attitude to innovation, while Sadeq Qassim, entrepreneur and Season 2 winner, outlined his progression from innovator to entrepreneur and highlighted the challenges of brand licensing.
Khalid Aboujassoum, Season 4 winner and entrepreneur, took the chance to engage with his fellow Qataris in the audience and emphasized how Qatar has a strong infrastructure that supports innovative entrepreneurs.
“The contribution of innovation in building a knowledge-based economy for Qatar is very critical. Today more than any time, the career path for innovation entrepreneurship is more viable in Qatar, and I encourage everyone to seriously consider it,” Khalid noted.
Fouad Maksoud, Season 9 winner and Harvard fellow, talked about failure and success while also sharing the progress of his invention, “Nanoskin”, which applies petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals to ordinary textiles to make them waterproof, breathable, and protective.
Other Stars of Science alumni speakers and their areas of discussion included Anna Malek, who shared advice on how to develop a baby product; Anwar Al-Mujarkesh on tech trends and artificial intelligence; Jenan Al Shehab highlighted the importance of female entrepreneurs; Majed Lababidi’s segment was titled “Serial Entrepreneur at 35”; Mohammed Al-Jefairi discussed the concept of customer validation; Dr. Nour Majbour gave an empowering talk on women in science; and Walaa Aniba talked about life as a mom-preneur.
The Stars of Science Season 11 Grand Final will take place this weekend on November 8, 2019, and will see the finalists defend their inventions one last time before the jury and public vote for the top innovator. Each finalist will be awarded a portion of $600,000 in seed funding to continue refining their products, building upon their progress while competing through the show’s conceptualization, prototying, and testing phases.
Online voting is now open on the show’s website, and ends on Wednesday, November 6, at 3PM QAT/ 12 PM GMT. For a full broadcast guide and details on how to cast your vote and make a difference, please visit www.starsofscience.com
Qatar Foundation (QF) is a non-profit organization made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development.
Our unique ecosystem—supported by partnerships with leading international institutions—is built on initiatives that address our most pressing challenges, create global opportunities, and empower people to shape our present and future.