Doha, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) announced the end of submission of Challenge 22's second edition having received 937 submissions and 3000 registrations.

Challenge 22 is an initiative launched by the SC to promote the culture of innovation within the Arab world. It aims to attract innovators and entrepreneurs to support and nurture ideas which could potentially serve as innovative solutions for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, along with organizing major events and sustainable impact on Arab societies.

In addition to innovators and entrepreneurs from Qatar, proposals were received from applicants from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Fatma Al Nuaimi, Legacy Senior Manager at the SC, said "We are very happy with the response and the caliber of ideas we have received from the Arab Youth, which have improved significantly since last year. It is an extremely promising sign that our youth are taking an active interest in their future and are determined to make a difference within their communities. We have seen some really creative and smart approaches to tackling the themes we put forward".

"The submissions have doubled this year when compared to last year. We couldn't have done this without the support of our network of regional partners and their belief in our vision. I would like to thank all our partners who have given us unlimited support during the roadshow, which was attended by more than 2,500 participants from across all the 10 participating Arab countries", Al Nuaimi added.

Of the four challenges, Tourism Experience received the most submissions with the total of 308, followed by The Internet of Things with 269 submissions, Sustainability with 217 submissions and Health & Safety with 143 submissions.

Challenge 22's second edition was launched in cooperation with SC's strategic partners; Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Wamda, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enterprise Forum Pan-Arab, and Facebook, and Programme Partners, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar Business Incubation Center, Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Airways, AstroLabs and FbStart along with more than 32 regional partners.

Currently, a jury including experts and executives from Challenge 22's network of strategic and programme partners are auditing and reviewing the submitted proposals. Reviews are assigned electronically through the dedicated Challenge 22 portal and confidentiality is ensured through electronic audit and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA).

Qualifying proposals will be announced on 17 January, and teams will have until 27 February to fine-tune their proposals before submitting for the second round of reviews after which the finalists will be announced. Finalists will then be invited to Doha to present their ideas and proposals to a panel of judges who will select the final winners. At advanced stages of submissions, teams will have access to experts and mentors who will guide teams on how to further perfect their proposals for the next round of review.

Winning teams or individuals will receive USD 15,000 in cash prizes and will then be given the opportunity to work with scientists and researchers in the region to begin building their ideas further. The winning ideas will also have the opportunity to receive a grant of up to USD 100,000 to develop a proof of concept and explore the commercial viability of the product. Through FbStart, winners with app-based ideas will gain access to mentoring and tools needed to build up their iOS or Android based apps, receive credits for Facebook ads and Parse, plus free tools and credits from partners to help with product testing, recruiting, customer care, video conferencing, legal services, and more.

Facebook offers through FbStart up to USD 80,000 in free tools and services designed to help build and grow the mobile app. FbStart provides year-round mentorship opportunities to connect directly with the Facebook team as well as access to an exclusive community of global startups.

Source: Qatar News Agency