Students Win Big at GITEX Technology Week 2017

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Three innovative students won a game-changing share of AED 120,000 at GITEX Technology Week 2017, in the final round of this year’s Student Lab Competition. Sponsored by Accenture, the competition is designed to discover the most creative and innovative young people in the fields of engineering, technology, science, computing – the future lifeblood of these vital industries.

Open to students from across the UAE, the GITEX Student Lab Competition gave competitors the opportunity to present their imaginative and ground-breaking ideas to leaders in the ICT industry, as well as representatives from universities across the region.

The first prize was awarded to Sarthak Sethi for his ‘ThumbFi: A Smart Biometric’, a concept that uses fingerprint technology to enable people with disabilities to operate their devices. He won the cash-prize of AED 50,000 in addition to an all-expenses paid trip to witness the launch of the satellite AL Yah 3. Sarthak was also awarded an internship with Accenture to further his passion for developing innovative technology solutions.

Commenting on his first prize win, Sarthak said: “Winning the Student Labs competition feels fantastic. I look forward to the future when I will be able to bring my idea to life and ThumbFi can help millions of disabled people all around the world.”

The second-place winner, ‘Robotics Hand as an assistive device’, was developed by an all-women team of Nouf Fadel Alsaedi, Fatima Hareb Alneyadi, Mouza Nasser Alahbabi, who took home a cash prize of AED 40,000. Third place was Fatima Ahmad Al Shaali for her iOS game, Silent Fairy, for which she won AED 30,000.

The annual competition was sponsored by Accenture, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Yahsat Smart Satellite Solutions. Judges narrowed down the 24 shortlisted student projects (from 200 overall entries) to an elite top three.

“Once again, we have been overwhelmed by the level of talent displayed by all entries to GITEX Student Lab, and would like to congratulate everyone who took part” said Omar Boulos, Regional Managing Director for Accenture in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey “The continuous evolution of the Digital Economy means that it is essential for large companies to empower their workforce to learn new skills and embrace emerging technologies. It is also important that companies themselves embrace disruption themselves and are open to implementing new and ground-breaking ideas. The students who entered GITEX Student Lab this year are the future, and their ideas will change the very way we do business.”

Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre said: “Youth-focused progammes such as GITEX Student Lab are an essential way of encouraging and nurturing the next generation of tech talent. GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars showcase the very best in disruptive, innovative and emerging technologies from around the world. These are industries than never stand still, and rely on constant imagination and entrepreneurship. The youth of today are the future of these industries and GITEX is proud to encourage and inspire innovation amongst our young people.”

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Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is easily excited by the smallest of technologies around. He is an Android fanboy at heart, who also owns an iPhone, a Windows Phone, and a BlackBerry. Though he uses a MacBook Pro at work, he also uses a Windows PC, an Xbox One and an Xbox 360 for all his gaming requirements. True gadget lover at heart!

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