As part of the firm's ongoing efforts to support the leaders of tomorrow, Yahsat, the UAE-based satellite operator, is sponsoring the GITEX — Student Lab Competition, an initiative by the GITEX Technology Week to recognize and promote innovation and creativity among students in the fields of communications technology, engineering, science and computing.
The competition gives the opportunity to current students and graduates to present solutions such as software, gaming, applications and product innovations to shape our everyday lives. Through the sponsorship, Yahsat is aiming at encouraging youth to invest in building the STEM skills needed to make a positive impact on their careers and on society.
This year, dozens of high-quality applications were received from across the world, including the UAE, USA, Germany and India. Out of the 65 submissions, a total of 24 projects have been shortlisted by a committee that is comprised of high-profile industry leaders, associations and partners. The shortlisted students will have the unique opportunity to present their projects to technology leaders and professionals at the Student Lab showcase area during the GITEX Technology Week.
Yahsat will be part of the VIP expert panel that will deliberate on all shortlisted projects. The winners will be announced during an award ceremony on October 12. In addition to a a cash prize of AED 50,000, the winner of the 2017 edition will be invited by Yahsat to attend the launch of the company's third satellite, Al Yah 3, in Kourou, French Guiana. The second and third placed competitors will receive cash prizes of AED 40,000 and AED 30,000 respectively.
In the spirit of providing opportunities for further growth, all participants will also be offered the possibility to do an internship at Yahsat to develop their skills and shadow experienced engineers and ICT professionals. The sponsorship of the Student Lab takes place on the heels of other initiatives taken by Yahsat to foster and nurture talented youth, such as the launch earlier this year of the Yahsat Space Laboratory, a facility that is dedicated for advanced research, at the Masdar Institute. In addition, the creation of a Master’s Concentration in Space Systems and Technology program, whose first batch graduated in May, offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge within the space industry.
The students participating at the GITEX — Student Lab Competition will be exhibiting their projects at the Sheikh Rashid Hall during the GITEX Technology Week from October 8 through 12.
Commenting on the competition, Muna Almheiri, Chief Human Capital Officer of Yahsat, said that GITEX is arguably ‘The Forum’ to attend for anyone and any company driving digital transformation. Yahsat is excited to be part of the GITEX — Student Lab Competition to help bring the current and future generation of tech pioneers and business leaders together. As a pioneering company, Yahsat has the responsibility to inspire future generations to be dream makers and game changers. The company is also proud to be supporting the UAE Vision to be at the forefront of the space industry by unlocking Emirati potential, attracting global talent and supporting cutting-edge STEM initiatives such as the ones taking place at GITEX.
Trixie LohMirmand, SVP, Event Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, added that GITEX is proud to support the work of young innovators like those that participate in the Student Lab. Programs that give young people a chance to develop their skills and ideas will foster connections in the startup ecosystem that will change their lives as well as the wider tech industry. The success of these students will benefit the participants as well as businesses looking for the best and brightest young minds in the industry.