• Mentorship opportunities from industry leaders to help winners take ideas forward
  • Winning entries focus on resolving issues such as sustainability and food safety

DUBAI - GEMS Education students showcased the best of their innovative thinking at the 7th Global Innovation Challenge 2024 at the weekend, with the winners bagging up to AED 10,000 in seeding funds to further develop their ideas and bring them to market.

This latest edition of an annual highlight in the GEMS calendar was a nine-month innovation marathon engaging 350 teams and 1,100 brilliant young minds.

The Challenge dovetails neatly with the Dubai Future Solutions – Prototypes for Humanity initiative that fosters the development and implementation of innovative prototypes and solutions. The latest phase of this was approved recently by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai.

Representing eight GEMS Clusters and 44 GEMS schools across the UAE and Qatar, the  student finalists displayed exceptional creativity, securing substantial seed funding prizes across various categories.

From ideation to execution, students embarked on a rigorous journey, including a grand exhibition last November. The Gold teams progressed to a final online round, refining their projects with industry mentorship, and presenting them to an expert panel of judges.

This year, the finalist teams and individuals presented game-changing projects, tackling global issues such as food security, health, gender equality, clean energy, and education.

Nargish Khambatta, Senior Vice President – Education of GEMS and the Principal/CEO of GEMS Modern Academy, which hosted the Awards event at the weekend, summed up: "The journey of the GEMS Global Innovation Challenge epitomises the essence of education’s aspirations – nurturing creativity, resilience, and a fervour for problem-solving.

“Over the past nine months, our students have translated ideas into impactful solutions, embodying the spirit of innovation that defines us. As we celebrate their achievements today, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering an environment that encourages ingenuity and equips our students to be the architects of tomorrow’s changes."

Jordan Bray, VP of Plug and Play Tech Center, a globally renowened incubation and acceleration platform connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies, announced mentorship opportunities for the top three teams, helping them in bringing their products to market. Plug and Play is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, and has a footprint expanding to more than 60 locations across five continents.

A GEMS alumnus from The Millennium School, Quddus Pativada, founder and CEO of AI start-up ASI, shared his entrepreneurial journey and vision for addressing educational disparities through digital learning that is freely available for all (see here). He gave the student finalists invaluable tips and pointers for the future as they strive to follow in his footsteps.

Junior Category Winners:

  • Fifth Place: AllerjiScan (Food - SDG 2, 12) - GEMS Legacy School, Dubai - AED 1,000
  • Fourth Place: AURPET (Health and Well-being - SDG 3) - The Millennium School, Dubai - AED 2,000
  • Third Place: SWIS (Smart Water Irrigation System) (Agriculture and Water - SDG 6, 13) - GEMS New Millennium School - AED 3,000
  • Runner-up: Spotting Diffusion (Gender Equality and Accountability - SDG 5) - The Westminster School, Dubai - AED 4,000
  • Winner: The Clean City (Energy - SDG 7) - GEMS Wellington International School - AED 5,000

Senior Category Winners:

  • 5th Place: La Lumiere (Energy - SDG 7) - Our Own English High School, Sharjah Girls - AED 1,000
  • 4th Place: Nano-Nourish (Food - SDG 2, 12) - GEMS Wellington Academy Dubai Silicon Oasis - AED 2,000
  • 3rd Place: Organora (Health and Well-being - SDG 3) - GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail - AED 3,000
  • Runner-up: Ambrosa (Equity - SDG 1, 5, 10) - GEMS Modern Academy - AED 7,000
  • Winner: Hearo (Education - SDG 4, 8) - GEMS New Millennium School - AED 10,000


About GEMS Education

GEMS Education is one of the oldest and largest K-12 private education providers in the world and a trusted and highly regarded choice for quality education in the Middle East and North Africa region. As a company founded in the UAE in 1959, it holds an unparalleled track record of providing diverse curricula and educational choices to all socio-economic means.

Having started with a single school run from a private home in Dubai, GEMS remains a family business to this day. Its inspiring Founder, Sunny Varkey, and his son, Dino Varkey, who is Group Chief Executive Officer, are responsible for providing vision, insight, and strategy across the organisation.

Every day, GEMS has the privilege of educating students from over 176 countries through its owned and managed schools globally. And through its growing network, as well as charitable contributions, it is fulfilling the GEMS vision of putting a quality education within the reach of every learner.

Every year, students graduating from GEMS schools progress to the world’s best universities. Over the past five years, GEMS students have been accepted into over 1,050 universities in 53 countries including all eight Ivy League universities in the US and all 24 Russell Group universities and colleges in the UK.

For further information about GEMS Education, visit www.gemseducation.com or contact:
Razan Abusabha, Account director, Four Communications