Philips and Dubai Economic Council announce winners of the 'Spirit of Innovation' competition

December 9,2014

  • More than 50 entries from across 17 universities in the UAE
  • Winner receives internship with Philips HQ in the Netherlands


Dubai, UAE: Philips and the Dubai Economic Council (DEC)  have announced the winner of the UAE student competition 'Spirit of Innovation’. Asad Ali, a recent graduate from New York University Abu Dhabi, stood out amongst a group of 10 finalists following an intensive day-long series of elevator pitches of their innovative ideas to the judging panel.


Asad Ali's entry that aims to reduce road accident related casualties through the use of automated smart accident detection and notification service, was selected due to his impressive use of innovation to provide a solution to the leading cause of death in the UAEi.  Judges were impressed by Asad’s ability to present a solution which would have a significant impact on the community at large by helping save and improve the lives of many who at risk on the roads. There were 463 traffic accident related deaths in the UAE over the first eight months of 2014, according to data released by the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI)ii


Manan Sharma and Sahil Sakhir from BITS Pilani Dubai qualified as runner-up and highly commended respectively.


''In-line with UAE’s vision to establish the country among the most innovative nations in the world by 2021, the Spirit of Innovation emphasizes DEC's commitment to realizing that goal,'' said H.E. Hani R. Al Hamli, DEC Secretary General.  ''The Spirit of Innovation competition has provided an excellent platform to generate awareness and stimulate the young minds who will lead this country into the future. The innovators of today dictate the success of tomorrow and we are proud to have an enormous pool of talent in the UAE which will steer down that path'', he concluded


The 'Spirit of Innovation' competition was created by Philips and the Dubai Economic Council to raise awareness of the importance of innovation amongst UAE’s future leaders whilst highlighting the value of collaboration, leadership, strategic thinking and discovery of creative potential. Asked to submit innovative solutions towards solving the UAE's challenges related to energy efficiency, healthcare, personal health and well-being, students’ submissions were evaluated on criteria such as originality, social impact, sustainability, commercial feasibility and a compelling argument.


Committed to developing sustainable solutions, for the UAE’s current and future challenges, as well as fostering local talent, Philips will send Asad Ali to embark on a month-long internship at the company’s headquarters in the Netherlands, shadowing some of the world's leading innovators.


''As a technology company focused on improving people's lives through meaningful innovation, the Spirit of Innovation initiative is a great opportunity for Philips to support the Dubai Economic Council’s vision to promote the Emirates in becoming a centre of excellence in the future.'' said Roy Jakobs, CEO, Philips Middle East & Turkey. ''We believe that public private partnership is the way forward to foster innovation in the region, and we are confident that this initiative will be successful in tapping into the potential of the UAE youth'' he added. 


A highlight of the event was the presence of 10-year-old child prodigy and Emirati inventor Adeeb Al Blooshi who emphasized on the importance of innovation. In his words, “Innovation is the way forward, and the way forward leads to the next generation - and the next generation is the future of the UAE."


The Spirit of Innovation's distinguished jury comprised of Fatma Al Janahi, Director of Strategy & Excellence, Knowledge and Human Development Authority; Tarek Hajjiri, Director Legal Policy, Dubai Economic Council; Omar Obeidat, Partner and Head of Intellectual Property Al Tamimi & Co.; Matthew Ranson, Leading Brand Consultant and founder of RANSON; Ugo Mosanya, Senior Director, Head of Strategy & New Business Development, Middle East & Turkey Philips.



 Asad Ali, Winner of the Spirit of Innovation student competition

Asad Ali, Winner of the Spirit of Innovation student competition

The jury members with chief guest Adeel Al Blooshi and Winner Asad Ali

The jury members with chief guest Adeel Al Blooshi and Winner Asad Ali

Manan Sharma, Asad Ali and Sahil Sakhir – Runner up, Winner and Highly commended respectively

Manan Sharma, Asad Ali and Sahil Sakhir – Runner up, Winner and Highly commended respectively

For further information, please contact:

Mahrukh Hakim
Philips Middle East
Tel:  +971 55 100 3824
Email: mahrukh.hakim@philips.com


Sweta Sewa
Ketchum Raad Middle East
Tel: +971 55 275 1846
Email: sweta.sewa@ketchum-raad.com


About Spirit of Innovation

The 'Spirit of Innovation’ community competition is an initiative launched by Philips and the Dubai Economic Council (DEC) in May 2014.  The competition was established to encourage adoption of open-innovation strategies in the UAE, by asking university students to develop sustainable solutions for the country’s current and future challenges in both energy efficiency, healthcare, personnel health and well-being. The aim of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is to raise awareness of the importance of innovation amongst UAE’s future leaders while highlighting the value of team work, leadership, discovering creative potential and strategic thinking.


About Royal Philips:

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 112,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.