Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and Microsoft have announced the winners of the UAE Imagine Cup 2023. The UAE winners were Rahma Al Mansoori and Reem Al Karbi, of project Piezoelectric Based Energy Source Model for Street Lights, and will now receive mentorship from Her Excellency Alia Al Mazrouei, CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development. They will also go on to compete in a global contest, where the grand prize includes a sit-down with Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and a cash reward of AED360,000+ (US$100,000). The winning concept was chosen for its innovative approach to generating energy from cars at traffic lights using piezoelectric converts, which will convert the energy into electricity.

Alia Al Mazrouei, CEO of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, said: “The Imagine Cup UAE is part of Khalifa Fund’s efforts to promote, support and encourage high-level STEM education so the next generation of UAE talent can be future industry leaders. We are thrilled to see the exceptional talent and innovation that the Imagine Cup has brought to the forefront once again this year. The UAE Imagine Cup finalists are proof of how the region’s young minds are harnessing the power of technology to create solutions that can make a real-world impact. Congratulations to the Piezoelectric Based Energy Source Model for Street Lights project, for winning the UAE phase of the competition, and we look forward to seeing their continued success as they represent the UAE on the world stage. I am excited to offer mentorship to these bright young minds and support their journey towards making a positive impact on society through technology.”

Ihab Foudeh, General Manager Public Sector, Microsoft MENA, said: “At Microsoft, we believe that a thriving and sustainable economy is based on a strong national talent pool. Imagine Cup is all about fueling sustainable innovation around the world. It pits the highest-flying students against their peers – giving them valuable experience of competition no matter what their placing is in the final judgment. By honing their STEM talents and soft skills, they learn collaboration and the value of teamwork. Now Piezoelectric Based Energy Source Model for Street Lights, under the tutelage of Her Excellency Alia Al Mazrouei, will get to see just how far their vision can take them as they head for the international stage.”

In the UAE, the Imagine Cup was open to Emirati students aged 18 and above who were actively enrolled in an education. Entries were accepted from teams of up to four, who submitted proposals for entry categories earth, lifestyle, education, and healthcare. Microsoft received applications from 233 teams and narrowed it down to the top 6 teams for the UAE National Finals.

As the first-placed UAE team, Piezoelectric Based Energy Source Model for Street Lights will receive mentorship from Her Excellency Alia Almazrouei, CEO of Khalifa Fund, and automatically qualify for the World Finals, where they will compete against 48 winning teams from national heats around the world for the grand prize.

Imagine Cup is an international competition in which STEM-talented school and college students bring their ideas to life through coding, collaboration, and competition. The tournament has attracted 2 million competitors since it began in 2003. It was designed as a forum for students with an interest in technology to make real-world impact with their solutions.