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Challenge 22 recognises region’s innovators
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Challenge 22 recognises region’s innovators

The winners of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s (SC) Challenge 22 innovation award were announced during a ceremony held at Qatar National Convention Centre on Monday evening.
Following a successful roadshow introducing the concept to the GCC, more than 300 applicants from all over the region submitted their ideas for consideration. Eighteen finalists presented their ideas to a jury before the winners were eventually chosen. 
Speaking at the event, SC secretary general Hassan al-Thawadi, said: “We gather here tonight not only to celebrate the winners and participants of Challenge 22, but also to recognise the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as a regional event that brings us together and promotes a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. I would like to congratulate the winners tonight as well as all the teams that participated in this challenge as they have all presented innovative ideas that highlight the immense talent across the GCC.” 
Challenge 22 awarded the winners with USD 20,000 per winner, as well as the opportunity to work with mentors in their field of interest, develop their idea into a prototype and ultimately the chance to showcase their ideas on a global platform.
The ceremony also featured a panel of experts who discussed how innovation has become a catalyst for economic development in the Middle East. 
The panel included Minister of Communication and Information Technology HE Dr Hessa Sultan al-Jaber, Emaar Economic City CEO and managing director Fahd al-Rasheed and Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government World Economic Forum vice chair Dr Yasar Jarrar. Moderated by ArabNet founder and CEO Omar Christidis, the panel addressed the issues faced by entrepreneurs in the region, analysing how the private and public sectors can support innovators. 
The Challenge 22 award ceremony was attended also by Minister of Labour and Social Affairs HE Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi, Minister of Education and Higher Education HE Mohamed Abdul Wahid Ali al-Hammadi, and Qatar Football Association president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani.
Also present were the ambassadors of the programme: Sami Jaber, former captain of Saudi club Al Hilal, Areej al-Kharafi of Kuwait, Mohamed Saadoun al-Kuwari of Qatar, and Mohamed Saeed Hareb from UAE.
Qatar Science and Technology Park managing director Hamad al-Kuwari said: “Tonight we recognised emerging talents that we hope will inspire the next generation of innovators from the Middle East.  Throughout the 2nd phase of the award QSTP will be providing guidance, house mentoring sessions and workshops, in addition to offering year-long accelerator programs for the winning ideas. We look forward to working with the winners in phase 2 of the project that will bring their innovative ideas to life when we welcome the world to Qatar in 2022.”
Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) chairman Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa added: “QBIC is delighted to be a Program Partner with the Supreme Committee’s Challenge 22 innovation award and to have contributed an important part of the coaching during the workshops. I congratulate the winners, the organisers and all contestants on their fantastic work, and look forward to seeing some of the winners turn their business dreams into reality at QBIC during phase two.” 
Reem al-Mansoori, assistant undersecretary of Digital Society Development at ictQatar, said: “Challenge 22 presents a unique opportunity where the winners will accomplish in months what usually takes years to achieve. The Digital Incubation Center of ictQATAR is honoured to be part of phase 2 of this challenge where we will incubate some of the winners, provide them with mentorship and support them in developing their ideas.” 
Initiated by the SC, Silatech and Qatar National Research Fund, Challenge 22 is a unique opportunity to think big and come up with inventive solutions to the challenges associated with hosting a major sporting event. Calling on applicants within the GCC, Challenge 22 aims to find solution based proposals related to three key themes that address challenges faced by Qatar and the world, when hosting major sports events: Sustainability, Event Experience, and Sports and Health.

Challenge 22
Phase 1 winners
* ‘Tamm – A platform for connecting visitors with volunteer residents’ by Dr Maher Hakim, Fatima Yousuf Fakhro, Aysha Fakhroo and  Ammar Abouelghar
* ‘Interactive 3D fan experience using Hologens’ by Ali ElDous, Khalid Mohamed, Taofik al-Nass and Salman Badnava
* ‘Tactile palm communicator’ by Thieab Ibrahim Aldossary and Rashid Battal al-Dosari
* ‘FitPet – A health promotion app for Qatar’ by Dr Ingmar Weber, Dr Yelena Mejova, Khalifa al-Haroon and Hamad al-Amari
* ‘Monitoring safe exercise’ by Dr Ahsan Khandoker and Dr Hani Saleh
* ‘Scalable Synthesis of expanded polystyrene (EPS)’ By Dr Khaled Saoud
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