Thursday, November 24, 2016

AURAK Launches Innovation Week Program


Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates - Thursday, November 24th 2016 [ME NewsWire]

The American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) has launched its comprehensive program for the second annual Innovation Week initiative, as decreed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The university held an innovation competition for students earlier this month, giving them the opportunity to put forward their projects, the best of which have been selected for display at this week’s innovation exhibition at Ras Al Khaimah Exhibition Center.

The winning project was a mobile phone application, available on iPhone and Android, which utilizes QR code technology which allows users to exchange jigsaw pieces in order to complete a picture. With the UAE National Day approaching, the first jigsaw that creators, Aisha El Allam and Maryam Abdulla, coded into the application was a picture of the seven sheikhs of the seven emirates.

Speaking of their inspiration for creating the app, which was under the supervision of Dr. Said Elnaffar, Aisha commented, “We all love and appreciate the peace and prosperity that the UAE offers us, so we created this app with the intention of allowing people to connect and socialize based on their mutual love for this country. The app was also designed so that people have to physically meet and talk to each other, rather than ‘socializing’ in cyberspace.”

The second place project, overseen by mentor Dr. Abdul Gafoor Puthiyaveetil, was produced by two junior biotechnology students: Najath Abdulkareem and Nada Anwar. With the rapidly increasing population of the planet, they reasoned, food production is more important than ever. Their adapted idea, vertical farming, deals with growing food indoors on a tiered platform using a combination of sunlight and LED lights. The layout maximizes efficiency through reusing water and saving space. The pair of students have successfully grown the likes of basil, parsley, rosemary and mint within their own homes.

A number of other projects were also on display, including a conceptual design for a smartphone screen which can produce text in braille to assist the visually impaired, as well as an innovative teaching method based on sensory stimulation which has had positive results in the field of special needs education. The projects were viewed by the crown prince of Ras Al Khaimah, H. H. Sheikh Mohammad bin Saud Al Qassimi, who congratulated the students on their inventiveness.

Commenting at the event, AURAK president, Professor Hassan Hamdan Al Alkim, commented, “This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to the community the extent of the innovation and research going on at the university. We are producing knowledge in all fields and we have students, who are aided by top-class professors, who are being given the opportunity to actively participate in this process.”


Eóin Brown

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