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Innovation takes centre stage as 28 Challenge 22 finalists announced

#Innovation #Challenge22

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has announced the 28 finalists who have been picked out of 76 semi-finalists for the final round of Challenge 22, after an extensive review process concluded for the regional innovation award.

Challenge 22 was launched by the SC to promote a culture of innovation within the Arab world, helping innovators and entrepreneurs to nurture ideas that could potentially serve as innovative solutions for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. Of the submissions which were selected for the final round, 8 came from Qatar, 5 from Jordan, 4 from Saudi Arabia, 3 from Egypt, 2 each from Oman, Tunisia and the UAE, while 1 concept was selected from Kuwait and Morocco respectively.

In its second cycle, Challenge 22 reached out to innovators and entrepreneurs in 10 Arab countries to submit their ideas in four categories: Tourism Experience, which received 308 submissions; the Internet of Things, with 269 submissions; Sustainability, with 217 submissions; and the Health and Safety Challenge, which received 143 submissions in Round 1. Of the total submissions, 12 submissions from Internet of Things, 7 Submissions from Sustainability, 6 submissions from Tourism Experience, and 3 submissions from Health & Safety, have been selected for the final round.

Challenge 22 finalists have been announced

Fatma Al Nuaimi, Communications Director at the SC, said: “We are delighted to announce the finalists for Cycle 2 of Challenge 22, and wish them all the best on their journey to the final round in Doha in May. The final event is designed to be a simulation for the real entrepreneurial world, where they will have to work in a very competitive environment to finalise their proposals before presenting it to the judging panel.”

Finalists will travel to Doha to take part in the final event from the 20th to 22nd of May 2017, where they will present their final proposals to the judging panel. During their stay they will be given access to interactive training, as well as a series of workshops in preparation of their final presentation.  

“Together with our partners and through Challenge 22, we aim to provide regional entrepreneurs a platform that supports them and will show the world the potential of Arab minds and their ability to contribute to the region’s development,” Al Nuaimi added.

During Round 2, the semi-finalists had access to the Challenge 22 network of mentors, along with two training workshops provided by programme partner AstroLabs, in order to help develop their proposals for further review.

Challenge 22’s second cycle was launched in cooperation with the SC’s strategic partners Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Wamda, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Enterprise Forum Pan-Arab, and Facebook, as well as Programme Partners in the form of Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar Business Incubation Center, Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC), Qatar Airways, AstroLabs and FbStart, along with more than 32 regional partners.

The winners of Challenge 22 cycle 2 will be announced in September 2017 as part of Summit 22, which will bring together regional and international innovators and entrepreneurs to share and discuss their experiences. Winning teams or individuals will receive USD 15,000 in cash prizes and will then be given the opportunity to work with scientists and researchers in the region to begin turning their ideas into reality.

There will also be an opportunity for winners to receive a grant of up to USD 100,000 to develop a proof of concept and explore the commercial viability of the product. Through FbStart, winners with app-based ideas will gain access to mentoring and the tools needed to build up their iOS or Android based apps. Facebook will also be offering up to USD 80,000 in free tools and services, while FbStart will provide year-round mentoring opportunities and direct contact with the Facebook team as well as access to an exclusive community of global start-ups to the winning teams.