The student: Bashar Shawer, from the College of Information Technology and Computer Engineering at Palestine Polytechnic University, and Yafa Abdul Rahim, from Business Administration College at Birzeit University, have won first place in the Arab Innovation Academy Competition, held in Doha, Qatar, for innovating an application called E-Salamat. The aim of this application is to spread knowledge about health and prevention of infectious diseases while travelling and it keeps a health file for each user. This application will enable travelers to obtain the necessary information on the prevention of diseases and the vaccines needed while traveling to a particular country.
The winning project has been one of more than 30 participating projects in the competition and more than 165 students from 30 countries. The guidance and instructions have been provided by a network of global mentors and specialists in supporting and developing startup ideas.
The technological park for the second time in a row has contributed to networking and providing the opportunity for the Palestinian youth to take part in the Arab Innovation Academy Program. It was held at the QSTP in Doha,Qatar for three weeks, from 31 December 2018 to 15 January 2019, in collaboration with Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), a member of Qatar Foundation for Research, Development, and Innovation, and partnership with the European Innovation Academy.
Through the technological park, the Arab Innovation Academy received more than forty Palestinian applicants. The technological park also facilitated all the necessary procedures to provide an opportunity for Palestinian students, where eight of them from different national universities, participated in six different teams. The E-Salamat application team consisted of 5 individuals from different nationalities have received the first place. The "Stone EF" team application, one of the best projects for supporting the environment and reducing water pollution, was awarded to eng. Areen Naser Al-Din, from Palestine Polytechnic University. This project aimed to recycle solid waste in a low-cost building stone due to the high demand for natural stone that may not be available in the coming years.
The Arab Academy program this year has focused on several technological concepts such as smart phone applications that seek to facilitate the individual life in the field of health, waste management, logistics operations and others, in addition to technology and Internet of things and business software. The program also aims to encourage turning the students' creative ideas into startup enterprises and implement them after studying and developing their business model.
It is noteworthy that the Arab Innovation Academy is the first initiative of its kind in the Arab world which brings together students from different Arab regions. It has given the participants in this program the opportunity to learn from actual experiences how to start their startups enterprises in three weeks, and helped them to gain access to a network of Arab and international trainers and professionals to support and develop their startup ideas and projects. In addition to this, the program seeks to raise awareness on technological entrepreneurship, stimulate the creation of new businesses and train the largest number of young talented people to launch new technology products and services that will benefit the local and regional market.