ArabBrains http://arabbrains.com MENA Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:47:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Shapoorji Pallonji wins contract for Kuwait University http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/shapoorji-pallonji-wins-contract-for-kuwait-university/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/shapoorji-pallonji-wins-contract-for-kuwait-university/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:47:50 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13203 .

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Construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji wins $525 million build-operate contract for Kuwait University

Shapoorji Pallonji, have won the contract to build, operate and maintain the colleges of social science, law and Shariaa & Islamic studies, as well as the prayer areas and faculty club for Kuwait University .

Valued at just under 150 million Kuwaiti Dinars (USD 525 millions) and with a contract period of 42 months, the contract was officially signed during a ceremony under the auspices of the Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr Bader Al-Essa, while being witnessed by the President of Kuwait University Dr. Abdulatif Al-Bader on 26th January 2015.

Speaking on behalf of the company, managing director and CEO, MD Saini said, “At Shapoorji Pallonji, we consider education to be one of the most important foundations of any society, so it is with great honour that we are able to contribute towards Kuwait’s national higher education through the construction of this university.”

Shapoorji Pallonji is already present in the Kuwaiti market, having won the design-build contract with supply, installation and maintenance of medical procurement for the $635 million Al Sabah Hospital. Providing 617 beds, the project is currently in its design phase and is expected to last approximately 48 months in total.

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Regional telecom leaders to meet at TMT MENA 2015 Smart Cities investment event in Dubai in April http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/regional-telecom-leaders-to-meet-at-tmt-mena-2015-smart-cities-investment-event-in-dubai-in-april/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/regional-telecom-leaders-to-meet-at-tmt-mena-2015-smart-cities-investment-event-in-dubai-in-april/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 10:25:24 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13201 .

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Leadership from the Middle East and North Africa’s leading telecom, tech, Government, finance and advisory institutions are meeting in Dubai on April 22, for the 9th annual TMT MENA Conference and Awards, which is focused on Smart City investment for 2015. www.tmtfinance.com/mena/

Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Digital Services Officer, Etisalat Group; Louay Abou Chanab, Investment Director – Telecom, Emirates Investment Authority; and Fahad Mushayt, Vice President, Corporate Strategy, STC have been announced as the first key speakers on the opening session at the event, which will tackle Smart City Investment Strategies, and the role of Telecoms, Government and Finance.

Key questions for the opening session include:

-What is the role of Government in facilitating smart city investment?
– Where do telcos have the right to win across the value chain of smart cities?
– What are the expected investments? What is the risk/return profile of such investments?
– What are the required partnerships across ICT, Finance and Government?

Over 50 speakers and 200 delegates are expected at the conference which features a series of Leadership Panels, Peer to Peer Round Table Debates, Keynote Presentations, Case Studies and Networking Sessions.

Other key speakers announced so far include Dr. Imad Hoballah, Chairman and CEO, TRA Lebanon; Hadi Hazim, Senior Director Network Architecture Operations, Du; Wael Doukmak, Director ICTE Business Development, Ooredoo Qatar; Gulfraz Qayyum, Managing Director, Telecoms & Media, EMEA, Citi; Hazem Galal, Partner, State & Local Government Sector Global Leader, PwC; Chady Smayra, Vice President and Partner, Strategy&; Martin Spicer, Senior Manager, TMT – Asia & EMENA, International Finance Corporation (IFC); and Khaldoon Tabaza, Managing Director, iMENA Holdings.

Sessions include:
• TMT Leadership Round Table 2 – Implementing Smart Cities
• Smart City Business Models and the Roles of Vendors
• Mergers and Acquisitions – How will consolidation shape the TMT market?
• Mobile and Fixed infrastructure Investment and Sharing
• Smart Healthcare, Commerce, ‘Edutainment’, Energy and Financing
• Investing in Cloud, Emerging Markets and the Internet of Things
• Big Data – how to manage the ‘new oil’ across Smart City silos?

For more information on the programme go to http://www.tmtfinance.com/mena/programme

TMT MENA 2015 – Investment and innovation strategies for Smart Cities (www.tmtfinance.com/mena ), takes place at the Madinat Jumeirah resort on April 22.

TMT Finance MENA 2014 Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner (www.tmtfinance.com/mena/awards) will also take place at the event, recognising the leading investors and advisers in telecoms and finance.

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NetApp to showcase at the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2015 http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/netapp-to-showcase-at-the-idc-middle-east-cio-summit-2015/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/netapp-to-showcase-at-the-idc-middle-east-cio-summit-2015/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:30:45 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13197 Fadi Kanafani, Regional Director Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan at NetApp

Fadi Kanafani, Regional Director Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan at NetApp

Dubai – NetApp, a leading global storage and data management solutions provider, today announced that the company will showcase its broad portfolio at the IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2015, with a particular emphasis on software, services, and partnerships that simplify data management across clouds. The IDC Middle East CIO Summit 2015will be held on 25th and 26th of February 2015, at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. The summit attracts CIOs, ICT professionals and industry experts from across the region. NetApp will also have a booth at the event and provide conference attendees the opportunity to meet with local experts.

“While many industries are suffering from the decline of oil prices obviously impacting any kind of investment decisions, not just IT, we at NetApp believe it is crucial that events like the IDC Middle East CIO Summit take place and that we attend,”said Fadi Kanafani, Regional Director Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan at NetApp.

He added: “NetApp’s goal at this summit is to demonstrate added value to our customers and partners by discussing how we can help them to protect or enhance their current technology or solutions without necessarily impacting Capex. NetApp will also emphasize on services and on its video surveillance technologies to support customers in theregion. Security will remain a key topic, regardless of economics, and the same goes for protecting or being able to create value from a company’s most important assets – their data.”

In addition, NetApp Data ONTAP®, the world’s #1 Open Networked Branded Storage Operating System will be discussed. Data ONTAP is a hybrid cloud solution thatdelivers a unified storage platform and enables unrestricted, secure data movement across multiple cloud environments thatpaves the way for Software-Defined Data Centers, offering advanced performance, availability, and efficiency. Clustered Data ONTAP provides a next-generation storage solution that delivers non-disruptive operations and massive scale that can accommodate mixed workloads and multiple SLAs on a shared infrastructure, with support for high-speed applications as well as large content repositories.

Jyoti Lalchandani, Group VP & Regional MD, IDC Middle East , Africa & Turkey, commented, “There can be little doubt that the 3rd Platform of computing is now in full swing. Built on the pillars of cloud, big data, mobility, and social business, this platform will account for one-third of all IT spending in 2015 and 100% of the market’s growth. The industry sits on the precipice of fundamental change, and with the clock rapidly ticking down, the time for CIOs to act is now.”

NetApp aims for a seamless Hybrid Cloud Data Management and believes that the data management elements in different parts of a hybrid cloud must be connected and work together to form a coherent, integrated, and interoperable system. This “data fabric” enables data to be consistently managed, transported seamlessly from one part of the cloud to another. It also enables enterprises to apply consistent policies and services to the data in the hybrid cloud regardless of the application, technology or cloud infrastructure provider.Some critical technology components that bring the NetApp Data Fabric vision to life include:

• Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 – A Proven Foundation for Cloud Data Management

• Cloud ONTAP – Enterprise-Class Data Management for the Hybrid Cloud

• OnCommand Cloud Manager – Efficient and Easy Provisioning for the Cloud

• NetApp Private Storage for Cloud – Expanding Cloud Storage Choices While Helping Customers Maintain Control of Data

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Northrop Grumman and UAE’s Higher Colleges of Technology Extend STEM Partnership http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/northrop-grumman-and-uaes-higher-colleges-of-technology-extend-stem-partnership/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/26/northrop-grumman-and-uaes-higher-colleges-of-technology-extend-stem-partnership/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:46:45 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13192 .

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Fifth annual Innovation Challenge inspires students across the UAE to ‘Learn by Doing’


Abu Dhabi – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Higher Colleges of Technology ( HCT ) today, renewing their joint commitment to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the UAE.

The MOU, signed at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi, marks the official launch of the 2015 Innovation Challenge competition.

The Innovation Challenge pairs Northrop Grumman mentors with HCT students to tackle a real-world engineering project: designing, building and then flying autonomous unmanned aircraft. The programme ends in a week-long competition where the student teams compete against each other in oral presentations and flight demonstrations.

“The Innovation Challenge continues to successfully enable our students, both male and female, to utilize the STEM-based knowledge gained through their courses in a very hands-on manner,” said Dr Tayeb Kamali, vice chancellor of HCT .

“This competition is a wonderful example of HCT ‘s commitment to the ‘Learning by Doing’ philosophy, where our students apply what they are taught in an interactive, practical setting. We thank Northrop Grumman for once again committing great support to enriching our students with experience in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles,” Kamali added.

“The UAE is investing heavily in the development of new industries in order to support economic diversification, and Northrop Grumman is committed to supporting that goal,” said Doug Raaberg, chief executive of Northrop Grumman UAE. “Innovation Challenge is a unique program that equips youth for new careers paths, supports the advancement of women’s participation in the labor force, and enhances the UAE’s global competitiveness.”

Innovation Challenge 2015 is the largest to date, with 15 teams representing five Emirates. Competition week – which is open to the public – will take place from April 19-23, 2015. There students will compete against each other for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the United States, where they will tour Northrop Grumman facilities and educational institutions specializing in STEM.

To learn more about the competition, visit www.northropgrumman.com/uaeinnovationchallenge, and follow the official hashtag #UAEIC2015 on Twitter.

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ENOC wins El-Baz Award for Excellence in Organisational Sustainability http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/enoc-wins-el-baz-award-for-excellence-in-organisational-sustainability/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/enoc-wins-el-baz-award-for-excellence-in-organisational-sustainability/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:30:56 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13188 .

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Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has won the El-Baz Award for Excellence in Organisational Sustainability, underlining its continuous efforts in undertaking effective social responsibility initiatives and programmes.

Organised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), the El-Baz Award for Excellence in Organisational Sustainability aims to encourage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in organisations and drive excellence across the world in different operations.

At a ceremony held at The Address Dubai Mall Hotel in Dubai, Moadh Bukhash, Senior Manager of Brands and Corporate Communications Management at ENOC , received the El-Baz Award for Excellence in Organisational Sustainability from Dr. Farouk El-Baz.

Saif Al Falasi, Exeutive Director of Environment, Health, Safety & Quality & Corporate affairs at ENOC said: “One of the key factors that defines ENOC is our commitment to promoting environmental best practices and sustainability. This is in line with the sustainable development vision of the UAE announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

“Across all aspects of our operations, we are focused on upholding the welfare of the community and our future generations, and we are thankful to the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University for honouring us with such a distinguished award, recognising our CSR efforts in the UAE.”

The El-Baz Award for Excellence in Organisational Sustainability is developed to honour the tireless work that Dr. Farouk El-Baz has undertaken over many years and to recognise his unique and significant contributions. Dr. Farouk El-Baz participated in the Apollo Program as Supervisor of Lunar Science Planning at a division of AT&T that conducted systems analysis for NASA.

This award aims to sustain excellence by instilling the belief that CSR at all levels has a positive impact on the sustained competitiveness and by building a structure from which value can be derived.

Over the years, ENOC has demonstrated its thought leadership in undertaking innovative CSR initiatives and has won Asia’s top laurel for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practices at the Asian Leadership Awards; and The Bizz Award, one of the most prestigious business awards world-wide, for outstanding corporate social responsibility practices.

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Ministry of Education inks Education Transformation Agreement with Microsoft http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/ministry-of-education-inks-education-transformation-agreement-with-microsoft/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/ministry-of-education-inks-education-transformation-agreement-with-microsoft/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:30:52 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13184 .

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A renewed 5-year agreement to improve Educational Technology

As part of its continued efforts to enhance the quality of learning and improving the use of technology in the classroom, the Bahraini Ministry of Education signed a 5-year agreement with Microsoft to transform learning, further innovation and develop employment skills for the 21st century.

The Microsoft Education Transformation Agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Majid bin Ali Al-Naimi, Minister of Education and Sherif Tawfik, Country General Manager for Microsoft in Bahrain and Oman, in the presence of Nawal Al Khater, Assistant Under Secretary for Planning and Information, Bahrain’s Ministry of Education, Dr. Mohammed Mubarak, Assistant Under Secretary for Human Resources, Bahrain’s Ministry of Education, Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corporation and Samer Abu Ltaif, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf. The signing ceremony took place yesterday, Tuesday 24 February 2015, at the Global Educational Supplies & Solutions (GESS) Forum in Dubai.

“Our mission in the Ministry is to keep our education system upgraded to cater to the changes our society witnesses and to activate its role in building the Bahraini people’s future abilities,” said H.E. Dr. Al-Naimi. “We understand the importance and value of technology in primary and secondary education and seek to jointly – with Microsoft – improve both the access to and the use of ICT for the support of the teaching and learning process as well as for empowering every student with the 21st century skills.” He thanked Microsoft for their commitment to Bahrain and their constant investment in the Education sector in the Kingdom and around the world.

Commenting on this announcement, Sherif Tawfik, Country General Manager for Microsoft in Bahrain and Oman said “At Microsoft, we believe that the economic competitiveness of every market depends in large measure on how effectively their educational institutions engage, inspire and prepare all students to learn and to innovate.” Tawfik praised the relentless efforts of the Kingdom to empower students, teachers and schools and encourage them to achieve their greatest potential by providing access to the latest technologies and the know-how to best employ these innovations to their advantage.

The Education Transformation Agreement with the Bahraini Ministry of Education will benefit over 209 schools through three different programs:

  • Transform Learning: will support in equipping schools, students and educators with resources and knowledge needed to adopt technology education. It also helps provide students with uninterrupted access through services like Office 365.
  • Further Innovation: will focus on encouraging school administrators, educators and students to innovate in using technology in learning and teaching within the classroom and beyond.
  • Develop 21st Century Skills and Employability: will provide training programs, curriculum and certifications for students, educators and schools to acquire 21st century skills to better utilize technology in building the workforce of tomorrow, today.

Tawfik concluded “Throughout the past decade, we have witnessed the great reform efforts of the Ministry of Education in Bahrain in the education sector in Bahrain. We are pleased to sign a new 5-year Education Transformation Agreement which is designed to foster educational development and success both now and throughout our continuing relationship, long into the future.”

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Over 700 people attend Qatar national library’s ‘Monster makers lab’ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/over-700-people-attend-qatar-national-librarys-monster-makers-lab/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/over-700-people-attend-qatar-national-librarys-monster-makers-lab/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:30:15 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13179 .

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Children and parents taking part in activities at the ‘Monster Makers Laboratory’ organised by Qatar National Library

‘Children are the Future of This Nation, Which Makes Them One of Our Prime Audiences’

Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, attracted more than 700 children and their families to a ‘Monster Makers Laboratory’ at which they learnt the basic art of monster making using rudimentary materials and geometrical shapes.

Held at the Recreation Centre in Qatar Foundation , in collaboration with Qatar Museums, the ‘Monster Makers Laboratory’ saw children aged three to 11 unleash their creativity as part of the citywide ‘Makers Event 2015′, organised by the Qatar Museums Family Programmes.

By cultivating creativity, sharing valuable information and knowledge, QNL continues to support Qatar Foundation ‘s mission to unlock the potential of people of all ages. It does this by providing access to a wealth of resources through its outstanding selection of online databases, regular training programmes, community events, and social engagement initiatives.

“To achieve its goal of bridging Qatar’s past and present through knowledge, the Qatar National Library remains mindful of the fact that today’s children are the future of this nation, which makes them one of our prime audiences,” said Carol Mitchell, Head of Children’s Services, at QNL. “We therefore seek to engage the youth in various ways, one of which is the ‘Monster Makers Laboratory’, which succeeded in being the fun-filled family event, with an underlying educational element, that we had envisioned – and we are delighted with the turnout to our inaugural participation in the ‘Makers Event’.”

Fahd bin Mohammed Al Kuwari, who accompanied his three daughters to the ‘Monster Makers Lab’, said, “I’m delighted that my girls have been able to express their creativity through this beautiful event. I hope that the Qatar National Library organises more of these activities regularly, in a bigger place.”

Sheikha Al-Ghanim, a five-year-old Qatari, added, “I was very excited to come to the ‘Monster Makers Lab’ and have enjoyed it because I’ve learned how to make creatures using coloured paper.”

“This kind of event reinforces the importance of nurturing creativity in children,” said parent, Bettina Bader. “Each child lives in their own world, and it is our role as parents, and a society, to enable them to express their creativity.”
Busy putting the final touches on his Spider-Man inspired creation, nine-year-old Saif Al-Momani, said, “I’ve had lots of fun at the ‘Monster Makers Lab’ and made some new friends too. I’ve also created my favourite cartoon and will put it up in my room.”

Aimed at educating children through art and creative design, the ‘Makers Event 2015′ saw a partnership of Doha’s cultural and educational institutions host a variety of programmes that allowed families to choose from several opportunities to get creative. Under the theme of geometric shapes and patterns, the ‘Makers Event 2015′ sought to encourage diverse approaches and interpretations geared towards nurturing and showcasing the community’s creativity.

“In its second year, the ‘Makers Event’ was a great success. We were so pleased to be able to offer families many different and unique workshops over the weekend, organised by outstanding organisations such as the Qatar National Library,” said Jessica Ludwig, Head of Families at Qatar Museums. “At Qatar Museums Family Programmes, we aim to provide local families the opportunity to explore, learn and play together through creative experiences, and the weekend saw families learn about geometric shapes and patterns through monster-making, scribbling machines, mosaic-making with clay, geometric pop-up books, colourful spin tops, storytelling and much more. Therefore, the ‘Makers Event’ is unique in that it pools together the many creative minds in Qatar to offer one great weekend of events for families to enjoy.”

Additionally, QNL’s children section regularly organises a variety of activities for the whole family, the most recent of which was the ‘Qatar-Brazil 2014′ that garnered large interest from children and their families. Another activity was the launch of ′The Blue Jackal′ book which was a great success with the country’s youth.

QNL acknowledges that children are the future leaders of the nation, who need to be provided and equipped with the necessary resources to carry on the efforts to preserve the nation’s heritage, while driving it into the future. For this reason, QNL provides access to a wealth of digital resources to the country’s youth through its children and teen collections. To register for free access, please visit www.qnl.qa. To access the complete list of QNL’s online resources, log onto www.qnl.qa/find-answers/online-resources

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Building Qatari research capacity for the future http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/building-qatari-research-capacity-for-the-future/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/25/building-qatari-research-capacity-for-the-future/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:08:09 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13176 .

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Six interns have been inducted into the latest cycle of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s (WCMC-Q) Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals where they will learn a comprehensive range of scientific skills to help give their careers an early boost.

The six-month program gives graduates the chance to gain hands-on work experience within WCMC-Q’s technically advanced laboratories and learn from the college’s world-renowned research faculty.

This is the fifth installment of the extremely successful Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals, which was established by WCMC-Q in 2011 to help build the new generation of highly educated professionals Qatar needs to develop a thriving knowledge economy in line with the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.

To date, 18 interns have completed the Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals. Interns learn a wide variety of competencies on the program, from practical bench research skills through to design of research projects and research administration.

The new interns spoke of their hopes for their time working in the labs at WCMC-Q.

Maryam Al-Dosari said: “The program is an opportunity to develop our research skills under the guidance of renowned and distinguished researchers, in order to contribute to the progress of the scientific research in Qatar.”
Her new colleague, Rouda Al-Qahtani, said: “I’m thankful for being accepted to this training program as I am sure that it will grant me the necessary knowledge and the ability to pursue my future career.”

Although the program is aimed at recent graduates who are interested in pursuing a career as a bench scientist, clinician or biomedical researcher, graduates who have non-science degrees may also be accepted.

Noof Al-Kuwari said: “As a nurse, I’m keen to learn and to be aware of anything related to the patients to be able to offer them the best medical and healthcare services, and my enrollment in this program will definitely add to my scientific efficiency and my ability to develop my research skills.”

Rouda, Noof, and Maryam will be working with their colleagues Maha AlDosari, Aisha Al-Qahtani and Sharefa Al-Mannai until July in the program this year.

Dr. Khaled Machaca, Associate Dean for Research at WCMC-Q, welcomed the new interns to WCMC-Q. He said: “It is very pleasing for us to be able to bring these enthusiastic and talented young people to WCMC-Q so that they can learn first-hand the vital skills needed to pursue a successful career in research.

“This is a great opportunity for the interns to learn from some of the most respected biomedical researchers in the world. With the knowledge they will gain, they have the chance to develop extremely rewarding careers and to make very important contributions to the growing research community in Qatar.”

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Dubai to host US$1m hult prize as Arab youth look to crack education challenge http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/24/dubai-to-host-us1m-hult-prize-as-arab-youth-look-to-crack-education-challenge/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/24/dubai-to-host-us1m-hult-prize-as-arab-youth-look-to-crack-education-challenge/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:45:33 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13171 .

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World’s largest student competition serves as engine of innovation for region and beyond

After fielding a record 20,000 first round submissions, the Hult Prize Foundation announced its MENA finalists who will compete at a historic event hosted by Hult International Business School in Dubai next month.

More than 200 entrepreneurs from the region, making up 58 teams, will meet on March 14, where the Arab world’s brightest will present their ground-breaking ideas for providing sustainable, early childhood education to the world’s poorest.

The shortlisted teams of students are from colleges and universities across the Middle East, as well as some of the top business schools in the world.

The regional winner will go through to the global finals, competing for the first prize of US$1 million in start-up funding to turn their idea for a sustainable social venture into reality.

The acclaimed Hult Prize, named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine, aims to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas – start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people. Run in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), Hult Prize is the biggest student competition in the world.

Former President Bill Clinton set this year’s challenge: to build start-ups to provide sustainable early education solutions for 10 million children in urban slums. About 20,000 teams of 3-5 students applied from more than 500 colleges and universities in more than 150 countries. Speaking on this year’s challenge, President Clinton said: “The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”

Regional finals will be held in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai, with a sixth held online.

Entrepreneur Fadi Ghandour, who was on last year’s judging panel, said the Hult Prize was encouraging the Arab world to “rethink how they bring value and poverty breaking solutions to those living in poverty.”

He added: “It allows students to use all of their knowledge, expertise and creativity to help solve the world’s ever-growing problems, while giving them great recognition and a strong step through the door to the business world.”

This year’s regional winner will be decided by a panel of 12 distinguished judges, all regarded as innovators and leaders in their fields. The list reads like a Who’s Who of Middle East commerce and academia, and includes: Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares; HE Shaima Al Zarooni, CEO of International Humanitarian City; Rahgu Malhotra, President (MENA) at Mastercard; and Mahmood Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade.

Seema Aziz, founder of CARE Pakistan, is also on the judging panel and will make the keynote speech at the regional final and award ceremony to be held at TECOM Auditorium, Knowledge Village.

The winning team, along with five other regional winners, will attend the Hult Prize Accelerator, a six-week programme of intensive entrepreneurial seminars hosted by Hult International Business School.

The six teams will then attend CGI’s annual meeting in September, where Bill Clinton will host the Hult Prize Global Finals. Here, teams will pitch their ideas in front of a world-class audience, before a winner is chosen and awarded the $1 million prize.

Previous Hult Prize winners have gone on to create the world’s largest distributor of solar lights and India’s fastest growing loyalty and rewards program targeted at the poor.

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, said: “”Solving our regions toughest challenges is as simple as providing Arab youth with an opportunity and a platform to have impact. Our pioneering innovation engine sparks movements by connecting bold ideas created by our future leaders with existing private, public and government stakeholders who collectively are in a position to rewrite history. We couldn’t be more pleased by the support we have received from Dubai and the UAE and look forward to the many outstanding ideas the Hult Prize Dubai will produce.”

For a full list of finalists, visit www.hultprize.org/en/compete/2015-prize/2015-finalists/

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Creation of the first university diploma in Islamic Finance in the BENELUX http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/24/creation-of-the-first-university-diploma-in-islamic-finance-in-the-benelux/ http://arabbrains.com/2015/02/24/creation-of-the-first-university-diploma-in-islamic-finance-in-the-benelux/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 10:55:34 +0000 http://arabbrains.com/?p=13167 .

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The First session will start in APRIL 2015 in Luxembourg and Belgium.

Following the 2008 subprime crisis, many financial actors were looking for alternatives to supply the market with ethical products and services, linked to tangible assets and to the real economy.

Islamic finance has become an important part of the international financial system and is one of its fastest growing components. Islamic investments and the liquidities available in the Gulf and Asia are boosting this industry. This segment is growing 50% faster than the entire banking industry in several core-banking markets. Islamic banking assets have exceeded 2 trillion US$.

As the 3rd place in the world for Islamic finance development, Luxembourg’s position requires a high level executive training in the sector. Its investment funds industry combined with the financial centre’s expertise in Islamic finance make Luxembourg an ideal location for the creation and administration of Sharia-compliant investment vehicles and cross-border distribution of investment products.

At the heart of Europe, Belgium host the most esteemed international companies and institutional head offices. In the last decade, we have observed many actions from Belgian authorities and institutions towards the Gulf, the Mediterranean and Muslim markets (prince economic missions in Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia, UAE …). The interest for these markets is growing in the Capital of Europe.

Luxembourg and Belgium are profiling themselves to become recognized actors in Islamic finance, funds and the Islamic economy.

Professor and LSM Dean at UCL, M. Michel De Wolf, says: “The LSM offers world-class courses and highly specialized options based on advanced research. LSM is the business school of the UCL, one of the oldest universities in Europe, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary and multicultural experiences. With the CEMS Master, LSM is offering the best ranked master organized in Belgium, according to the Financial Times. This Islamic Finance Certificate will also participate to our tradition of excellence and ethics.”.

Professor Laurent Marlière, ISFIN CEO says: “From a nascent niche, Islamic Finance has become a worldwide phenomenon and a solid pillar of the financial industry. It is growing 50% faster than the entire banking industry in several core-banking markets”. He adds: “This innovative and brand new area is lacking competent human talents to structure the demand and offer with a qualitative advisory. This university diploma targets bankers, fund managers, lawyers, accountants, auditors …”

- The UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain) is one of the oldest and most recognized university in the world. www.uclouvain.be/index.html

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