Innovation challenge targets students
Manama, April 26, 2010
Bahrain’s aspiring tech geniuses are being offered an opportunity to participate in a mentoring program and have their plans translated into working projects by Zain Bahrain.
The `Zain eShabab – The Innovation Challenge’ program, now in its second year, will bring together some of the brightest young minds and mentors who could help them to create winning entries that would utilise technology in new and creative ways, said Zain Bahrain’s corporate communications manager Samya Hussain, at a press conference today.
The program is open to university students. They can form a team of three to five members and submit their projects into the competition. Participants can develop innovative projects in Web, Mobile or E-government categories. Interested students can register at www.eshabab.org
The program, held under the patronage of Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, president of the General Organization for Youth and Sports (Goys), is underwritten by Zain Bahrain.
The six-month event is designed to get youngsters to think about technology and use it in new ways, thus preparing them for the future, said Hussain.
The program is a combination of three main elements: training, guidance and a competition. Participants get the opportunity to listen and learn from experts from around the world about the hottest topics in technology, innovation and creativity. In the second stage of the program the participants are divided into teams and work on their project with the help of a coach/mentor.
The Zain eShabab program is supported by the Goys, eGovernment Authority, Gulf Future Business and Bahrain Internet Society. The event is managed by a committee made up of representatives from these organizations.
“As a telecoms company that firmly believes in the power of youth to transform society, Zain Bahrain has consistently partnered young people in realizing their full potential as a central CSR focus,” added Hussain. “This year, we have added even greater value to the Zain eShabab program by linking it to our innovative award-winning `Zain Dream’ CSR initiative. Not only will every participant be benefited by interacting with experts and mentors in the tech field, but the finalists and winners of the innovation contest at the end of the project will also get financial support from Zain Bahrain as a Zain Dream winner.”
Organizing committee chairman Ahmed Al Hujairy said the 2010 edition of the Zain eShabab program will target 300 selected students and expose them to a unique blend of training and guidance – significantly more than the first program which saw 80 students selected.
The Zain eShabab 2010 program which commenced in mid-April will run until early September when the Zain Dream winners from the project will be announced.
The winning teams selected on the basis of innovation a the end of the program will be supported by Zain Bahrain through the Zain Dream program to translate their ideas and innovation into real-life projects that will enrich the community and the private sector.
Al Hujairy also said there are plans to launch an e-incubator project to help young entrepreneurs.
There will be three winners in each category who will have their dreams come true by winning and receiving the Zain Dream Award.
The winning teams will also be nominated to represent Bahrain in Arab and international innovation competitions.
The press conference was also attended by Hisham Al Jowder, director of youth affairs, Goys, and the Bahrain Internet Society vice chairman Nawaf Abdulrahman. – TradeArabia News Service