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Queen Rania entrepreneurship competition honours winners

By Dana Al Emam - May 26,2015 - Last updated at May 26,2015

HRH Princess Sumaya with winners of the Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition on Tuesday (Petra photo)

 

AMMAN — It was important for Maher Maymoun and Tala Nasraween to address the issue of dust accumulation on solar panels during the summer.

The 25-year-olds, who won first prize in the pre-start-up category of the Queen Rania National Entrepreneurship Competition (QRNEC) 2015, told The Jordan Times they felt a need to resolve “this national issue” that causes the efficiency of the solar power system to drop by 40 per cent.

Their project proposes a “self-clean” slanted vibrating surface that removes the need for external efforts to wash the dust particles.

Maymoun, who holds a master’s degree in power engineering, and Nasraween, a computer science graduate, said the project is “the first step”, with plans to expand it once funding is available.

The “Hafilaty” project won second prize for developing an application that notifies parents when their children’s school bus arrives to minimise waiting time in difficult weather conditions, while third prize in the same category went to the “Unlimited Vote” app, which facilitates the voting process at universities and associations.   

In the university category, “Think Ahead-3D” from the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT) was first, while “Green Box Energy” from Al Quds College came second and the University of Petra’s “Med Pick” was third.

Carried out by the Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship (QRCE), the competition seeks to advance the entrepreneurial skills of students and mature entrepreneurs and motivate them to create a business plan and business model for projects that are practical and innovative.      

Speaking at the event, HRH Princess Sumaya, chairperson of the PSUT board of trustees, highlighted the centre’s role in developing a local “innovation ecosystem” that serves as an incubator for entrepreneurial projects at the university and the community at large.

She underscored the need for further investment in Jordan’s human capital, which is innovative in spirit and engages in new enterprise creation that generates job opportunities for the rest of the knowledge-based society.

The princess cited QRCE, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, as an example of an entrepreneurial project that strives to nurture the innovative capabilities of Jordanians. 

The centre will build on its accomplishments over the past 10 years by expanding its future goals to focus more on nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset among young Jordanians, according to QRCE Executive Director Abdelraheem Abu Al Basal, who cited this factor as the major obstacle facing entrepreneurial progress.

He added that the centre will soon inaugurate a venture lab that will provide further assistance to entrepreneurs in mentoring and guidance, noting that QRCE helps entrepreneurs in networking and building capacities, in addition to linking them with funding opportunities.   

Stephanie Williams, deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Amman, said QRCE’s work to build an entrepreneurial culture has never been more timely and necessary than it is right now.

“The investments that we make today, from training, mentorship and business development, create the opportunity that young people need to build a strong and stable community of tomorrow,” she said. 

QRCE Entrepreneurial Programme Manager Amal Bani Malhem said 120 teams participated in the competition’s seventh edition this year, with 85 making it to the second phase and 36 to the third phase, while 12 teams were the finalists in the two categories.

She told The Jordan Times that all finalist teams will be incubated at the venture lab and offered working space to develop their projects.

Amounting to over $30,000, QRNEC prizes are awarded to projects in the fields of ICT, renewable energy, water, life sciences, advanced technologies and social entrepreneurship.

 

A nonprofit organisation established in 2004 to help develop technology entrepreneurship in Jordan, the QRCE is part of El Hassan Science City and El Hassan Business Park, and plays the role of a national centre of excellence for entrepreneurship.

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