300 undergrad students take KAUST’s STEAM challenge

The three-day STEAM Innovation Challenge took the participants through different levels of the ideation stage, from problem definition to pitching and marketing.
Updated 12 May 2019
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300 undergrad students take KAUST’s STEAM challenge

About 300 undergraduate students from 20 Saudi universities from across the Kingdom gathered at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to compete in the STEAM Innovation Challenge. The 48 participating teams were on a mission to find solutions to challenges affecting the environment, health, smart cities, quality of life and safety and security.
STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics — is an annual intensive ideation program which mixed interdisciplinary teams work together to create innovative concepts to solve pressing challenges nationally and globally.
The STEAM challenge, which took place from May 2 to 4, was the seventh at KAUST and the largest yet. This year’s STEAM event was held in partnership with Northrop Grumman, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and Elm.
The three-day challenge, which was organized by KAUST Innovation & Economic Development, took the participants through different levels of the ideation stage from problem definition to pitching and marketing. The student teams pitched their ideas on the final afternoon panel of judges, with awards given to the top three teams.
“We designed the STEAM Innovation Challenge to inspire youth in Saudi Arabia on a national scale by immersing them in an intensive innovation experience,” said Hattan Ahmed, head of KAUST Entrepreneurship Center. “The students addressed real challenges around the topic of sustainable cities, crafted in collaboration with our corporate partners.”
The winning teams were iCare, a bracelet to monitor pilgrims’ vitals and report accidents to health- care providers for a better Hajj experience; Cure, which works to incentivize the collection of unused household medications for distribution to relief organizations for better living; and EHFADHHA, demand-prediction software for food retailers.
The STEAM Innovation Challenge is offered to university students by KAUST in partnership with Saudi universities, large companies and non-profit organizations. The program is designed to engage students in mixed interdisciplinary teams to create innovative concepts that solve particular challenges. By partnering with the student populations of KAUST and select Saudi universities, the program offers an opportunity to showcase and support Saudi student-led innovation.
The event also serves as a networking platform, where students can connect with experts from partner organizations as well as meet and collaborate with students from different Saudi universities.


Mashroat to support Labor Ministry projects

Updated 15 July 2019
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Mashroat to support Labor Ministry projects

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development and the National Program to Support the Management of Projects in Public Entities (Mashroat) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to appoint the latter as the enabling arm to support infrastructure projects. Mashroat will provide consultancy services and technical support for managing the ministry’s construction projects and facilities management based on the highest administrative and operational standards.

The MoU will allow Mashroat to examine and evaluate the construction projects’ management strategies and the ministry’s current facilities management, including designing and identifying policies, procedures and processes. In addition, Mashroat will ensure project implementation and facility management systems are run efficiently and effectively.

The MoU is considered as the first of its kind to be implemented by Mashroat to support the management of public facilities for government entities in the Kingdom. This includes the provision of consultation services and technical support based on international best practices and will support the ministry’s facilities, including 14 operating and maintenance contracts for 389 sites spread throughout the country.

The MoU was signed by Executive General Supervisor of Supportive Services at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development Dr. Ayman bin Ibrahim Al-Shelafan, and Director-General of Mashroat Ahmed bin Mutair Al-Balawi. In attendance were Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmed bin Suleiman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rajhi, Assistant to the Minister of Labor and Social Development Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Jasser, and Assistant Minister of Economy and Planning and Board Member of Mashroat Khalid bin Saud Al-Shunaifi.

Al-Jasser said: “The signing of this MoU is an important step toward strengthening our partnership with Mashroat. Through this joint effort, we aim to strengthen the ministry’s public infrastructure system, and achieve a strategy that will contribute to the development of the Kingdom and achieve the ambitious goals of Vision 2030.”

Al-Balawi said: “Mashroat aspires to achieve an effective transformational approach for the project and facilities management offices in the governmental agencies, through supervising the planning of the infrastructure projects portfolio for government agencies.” 

He added: “We are pleased to sign this MoU with the ministry, the first-of-its-kind for the management of public utilities. The program will examine and evaluate the management of current construction projects, while uniting the measurement of operational and maintenance procedures and processes to achieve efficiency and effectiveness, fulfilling the ministry’s strategic objectives.”

The MoU is an implementation of a royal decree (No. 47004) dated May 31, 2018, pursuant to the Council of Ministers’ resolution stating that public entities shall establish project management offices in cooperation with Mashroat to follow up, coordinate and manage their projects and ensure their delivery.