In the presence of His Highness Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al Saud, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Chairman of TAQNIA Aeronautics, ‘Entaliq with Airbus’ concluded on February 5, 2017, with an awards ceremony honoring its participants and top three winners.
Organized by Airbus Middle East, the ceremony was hosted by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and attended by the program’s strategic and community partners, industry stakeholders and wider guests.
Out of more than 1,000 Saudi applicants and over 70 unique project ideas, eight teams were shortlisted to the final stage. The teams presented their ideas at the ceremony to a panel of judges comprising senior executives and industry professionals from Airbus, TAQNIA Aeronautics, Qotuf, Altran and Badir.
During the ceremony the top 20 participants were also recognized for their creative and innovative projects.
H.H. Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al Saud, President of KACST, addressed the attendees during the ceremony. On behalf of the three ‘Entaliq with Airbus’ strategic partners, Fouad Attar from Airbus; General Ali Alghamdi from TAQNIA Aeronautics and Abdulrahman Al-Fahad, Advisor to the Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, highlighted Entaliq as a driver and enabler of the sustainable future growth of the Saudi aviation industry during their speeches.
Ahmad Alsawy’s wireless virtual reality surround sound headset, Mohamad Ghulam’s foreign object debris solution for airport tarmacs, and Rehab Aljuhni and Raed Alrefaei’s solution for passengers’ low blood pressure through in-flight blood-circulation activities, were announced as top three winners respectively by the program’s panel of judges. The three finalists will witness their projects come to life with the support of the initiative’s partners. Partner’s involvement will include training of team members, incubation of the business concept or promoting the solution in company portfolios.
Entaliq with Airbus’ was launched by Airbus Middle East in September 2016 in partnership with TAQNIA Aeronautics and Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia). The initiative provides a platform to support the development of innovators and entrepreneurs in KSA across various science and aviation technology disciplines.
“As a leader in STEM innovation and a major supporter of the future development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Airbus Middle East takes every opportunity to challenge young entrepreneurs and encourage their involvement in the growth of the national and global aerospace industry,” commented Fouad Attar, Managing Director at Airbus Middle East.
The winning ideas, that will move on to the incubation process, includes Ahmad Alsawy’s in-flight entertainment innovation of an ergonomically friendly headset that can be converted from a simply audio device to a full wearable computer, changing the whole in-flight entertainment experience. Other winning submissions focused on the contribution to the safety of passengers starting from the runway using Mohamad Ghulam’s technology solution that deals with foreign object debris, to Rehab Aljuhni and Raed Alrefaei’s contribution to inflight safety and comfort of passengers who suffer from low blood pressure.
Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Director General of Saudia, said, “It is amazing to see the ideas that have been presented and developed throughout the course of this program. Many of these concepts have the potential to change the aviation industry, and witnessing these innovations come from the youth in Saudi Arabia has opened doors, advancements and opportunities for the young talent and Saudia, as the national carrier of the Kingdom.”
Following the awarding of the winners, community partners; Aviation Australia Riyadh College, the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) and Qotuf, Saudi’s leading think-tank incubation firm, elaborated on the future of the winning ideas as they enter the incubation process.