Doha, Qatar — Arab innovators looking to transform ideas into inventions with the guidance of experts are set to begin their journey in the latest edition of Stars of Science, premiering on September 2.
Seven candidates from across the Arab world will be invited to Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) – Qatar Foundation’s (QF) technology hub, and home to tech-based entrepreneurs and their start-ups – to compete over the course of twelve weeks while developing, refining, and testing their innovations.
This season, many aspiring arab entrepreneurs will be hoping to join the show’s alumni community, which spans 154 alumni from 19 Arab countries. The contestants will have to progress through several elimination rounds to secure a spot in the Grand Final, where two winners will each be awarded a share of the prize in seed funding.
Yosouf Al-Salehi, Executive Director of QSTP, said: “Today’s innovators do not work in a vacuum. They are part of a vast ecosystem; their ideas build off the discoveries of others before them, and their inventions often require the insights of experts hailing from different disciplines. As a key contributor to the innovation ecosystem in Qatar, we at QSTP aim to accelerate the commercialization of market-ready technologies to realize the national drive toward economic diversification and sustainability.
“We are pleased to be part of the Stars of Science’s 13-year journey that introduced many Arab youth to the vibrant innovation community in the region and empowered them to forge new opportunities for the next generation across sectors and economies, in line with QF’s vision of creating an economic, social, and sustainable legacy.”
This season will see the return of Professor Fouad Mrad, for the 14th season in a row. Joining him will be accomplished Qatari medical expert Dr. Aisha A. Yousuf, Medical Director of Reproductive Surgery at Sidra Medicine, a women’s and children’s hospital based in Qatar and a member of QF.
Both Professor Mrad and Dr. Yousuf will serve as the two permanent jury members, with a rotating cast of established Arab experts – including Stars of Science alumni – taking the third seat in the jury panel as the season progresses.
“Serving as a judge on Stars of Science is particularly rewarding for me,” said Dr. Yousuf. “Leading the reproductive surgery department at Sidra Medicine and as a graduate of Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, a QF partner university, I am lending the knowledge and experience I have gained in my experience as a student and an employee at QF towards supporting its thriving research community while also guiding the development of young, aspiring Arab innovators.”
Since 2009, many of the show’s alumni have launched their products or gone on to establish successful businesses in the Middle East and North Africa, reaching Europe, the Americas, and Eastern Asia. According to Professor Mrad, their time spent on Stars of Science empowered them to play an integral part in fostering the innovation ecosystems across the Arab world.
“Every contestant on Stars of Science benefitted from leveraging the knowledge and resources available at QF’s top-tier universities, innovation hubs, and research centers,” said Professor Mrad. “The ever-growing ecosystem of QF stands out on the global stage and exposes Arab innovators to the importance of collaboration and multidisciplinary work in science and research.”
Stars of Science will air every Friday and Saturday from September 2 to October 14 2022, on six channels in the region and online.