• Set to Boost Competitive STEM Culture in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi-UAE – As part of the Advanced Technology Research Council’s (ATRC) ongoing STEM Youth Engagement Program, ASPIRE, ATRC’s program management and business development arm, is collaborating with the Abu Dhabi Youth Council to launch the pilot of its AI Datathon STEM Competition. Designed for undergraduate students in computer science, data science, and related fields, the initiative aims to accelerate STEM engagement, attract, and retain the country’s top talent, and cultivate a competitive STEM culture in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.

The contest falls within the scope of ASPIRE’s latest initiative, the UAE STEM Competitions League, comprising a portfolio of STEM competitions and events hosted in collaboration with key stakeholders. The AI Datathon will unfold over two days on March 1 and 2  2024, at the ATRC Yas Office Auditorium.

Set to become an annual fixture, the AI Datathon brings together five participating teams of undergraduate students, from five select universities – Abu Dhabi University (ADU), UAE University (UAEU), Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), and Khalifa University (KU) – to tackle AI and deep learning challenges, designed to immerse them in the thrilling realm of AI and data analysis.

To prepare participants for the upcoming challenge, a pre-competition course was held at the ATRC Masdar Auditorium from February 16 to 18, 2024.

The Datathon requires the participating teams to solve three tasks of escalating complexity and sophistication, where they engage with real-world datasets and leverage various tools and libraries to work out and implement their solutions. For the first two tasks, the teams are required to create programs that will help categorize data using mathematical techniques like logistic regression, gradient descent, and data preprocessing concepts. The details of the third task will be shared on the first day of the datathon, adding an element of surprise and excitement.

The winning team, evaluated on accuracy, performance, code quality, innovation, and report quality, will receive a substantial cash prize of AED15,000.

Underlining the significance of empowering youth with practical AI experience, Stephane Timpano, CEO of ASPIRE, stated: “We want our youth to think big and look beyond their current capabilities towards a transformative future with AI at the helm - one that will catalyze the UAE's reputation as an emerging global innovation hub. In nurturing the next generation of AI enthusiasts through this competition, ASPIRE is actively bridging the gap between education and industry, through empowering our youth with practical experience to steer tomorrow's technology domain.”

“I am thrilled to see the collaboration between Abu Dhabi Youth Council and ASPIRE in organizing the AI Datathon competition. This event exemplifies our commitment to empowering youth with cutting-edge skills and opportunities in artificial intelligence. By fostering innovation and collaboration, we are shaping the future of AI and driving positive change in Abu Dhabi's youth community. It is our role to invest youth's energy and potential in national sustainable development and empower them to have future foresight tools for a knowledge-based economy,” said Mohamed Alwahedi, Chairperson of Abu Dhabi Youth Council.

The AI Datathon STEM Competition is a progressive, hands-on learning experience that aims to bridge the gap between theoretical understanding and practical application of AI and deep learning techniques.


ASPIRE drives the creation of future transformative technologies as the program management pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC). ATRC is responsible for defining Abu Dhabi’s research and development strategy, consolidating funds for efficient investment, and driving policy and regulation. ASPIRE works in consultation with cross-sector industry stakeholders, universities, and research institutes to frame problem statements. It also launches grand challenges and international competitions to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. ASPIRE brings together exceptional people, ideas, resources, and technologies to solve complex challenges. 

For more information, visit https://www.aspireuae.ae/

About Abu Dhabi Youth Council

Abu Dhabi Youth Council (ADYC) plays a pivotal role in the UAE's commitment to nurturing its youth as key drivers of the nation's future success. Established under the visionary leadership of the UAE, ADYC is dedicated to empowering Emirati youth to excel in every field, aligning with the leadership's vision of global leadership and excellence. ADYC works to foster the coordination and implementation of youth initiatives in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. With coordination of over 70 corporate councils, ADYC serves as a vital link between the youth and decision-makers, ensuring their voices are heard and their concerns addressed.