• More than 160 participants from more than 20 countries, mentored by world-leading experts, joined the inaugural edition of NYUAD’s Quantum Computing International Hackathon for Social Good
  • World-leading experts from Amazon Web Services, G42 Cloud, SandboxAQ, qBraid, TII, The Microsoft Garage, MIT, and more collaborated as mentors, judges, partners, and speakers

Abu Dhabi, UAE: NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in partnership with Tamkeen, and hosted by the NYUAD Institute, has concluded the region’s first-ever Quantum Computing International Hackathon for Social Good where the team, Qudra, won first place for their project QEnergy, which tackled an environmental challenge by  utilizing quantum technology on the distribution of      renewable energy grids in order to  enhance energy security and sustainability.

More than 160 participants from more than 20 countries turned up at the three-day event where world-leading computer science professors, startup founders, technology professionals, and venture capitalists such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), G42 Cloud, SandboxAQ, qBraid, Technology Innovation Institute (TII), IonQ, MIT, Yale, Stanford, The Microsoft Garage, and many more collaborated as mentors, judges, and speakers throughout the three days and provided the participants with insights, support, and guidance.

NYUAD Affiliated Faculty and Clinical Professor of Computer Science Sana Odeh, who organized the event, commented: “Over the past decade, the NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good has resulted in the creation of a local, regional, and a global Tech for Good innovative leadership hub and contributed to the successful launch of many careers.  This year is no exception, and the success of this year’s initiative demonstrates NYUAD’s central role in creating a hub for quantum computing education locally, regionally, and globally for young talent among top-tier institutions and experts in the field.

I’m proud and humbled by the efforts of these talented students who have contributed some truly original ideas that have the potential to change the world. The NYUAD hackathon is designed to empower a new generation of computer scientists with the necessary collaborative, cross-border skills to advance quantum computing capabilities here in Abu Dhabi and ultimately to make a positive impact on our society. I am also grateful to the mentors and judges who provided valuable counsel, and our partners and sponsors Amazon Web Services (AWS) which provided all the quantum computing hardware, qBraid which managed the software, G42 Cloud, SandboxAQ, and TII who provided the prizes, and many other partners who have all helped make this event a great success.”

In second place was team qVerified, who developed an automated solution to verify the accuracy of algorithms that saves quantum developers time and effort.  Also in second place was team QSPirates, with their project QvsPy,  a quantum virus sensor stimulator detector for viruses such as COVID-19.

Khalifa University student and qVerified team member Omar AlRemeithi said, “This Hackathon connects people from all around the world where it aligns with EXPO 2020 theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ We are utilizing quantum computers for one purpose: the social good. This is a wonderful experience for the students, mentors, judges, and the volunteers where each person shares their diverse culture, technical skills, and creative ideas. As a student, I built my network through this hackathon.”

In third place was team Jumjuma, with their project MedQure, which uses blind quantum computing to allow healthcare clients with limited computational ability to securely classify sensitive medical data on an untrusted cloud based quantum computer. Sharing in third place was Team22 with their project mediQal, a web app focused on optimizing the routing of mobile medical services.    

Leandro Aolita, Executive Director, Quantum Algorithms, Quantum Research Center at Technology Innovation Institute (TII), commented, “I am pleased to represent Technology Innovation Institute (TII) on the elite judging panel of the Quantum Hackathon that is part of the 10th annual NYUAD Hackathon for Social Good. Organized by New York University Abu Dhabi and Tamkeen, the event brings together top names from across the quantum industry, and challenges cross-disciplinary teams to go head-to-head in finding innovative solutions to tackle the most pressing problems we face today in quantum computing. The impressive caliber of the contestants and the excitement to see which solutions are assessed as likely to have the most transformative impact serve as a value-add that competitions such as this one bring to the quantum space.”

Established in 2011, the NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good has seen more than 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries. Previous innovations resulting from the Annual NYUAD International Hackathon include applications that connect grocery stores with food shoppers to minimize food waste; locate missing refugees; tackle counterfeit medicine; offer affordable translations of texts, and increase employment in the Arab World, among others.

The annual event forms part of NYUAD’s commitment to enhancing innovation for the benefit of social good in the Arab World, supporting the higher education sector in the UAE, and furthering the UAE’s 2071 Centennial Plan to diversify and shift to a skills-based knowledge economy.


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

About Tamkeen

Tamkeen LLC is an Abu Dhabi company that partners with leading local and international institutions to deliver projects that enrich the emirate’s social, cultural and educational landscape in support of its Economic Vision 2030. Tamkeen is New York University’s partner in the UAE, enabling NYU Abu Dhabi’s ongoing development. In addition to NYUAD, Tamkeen manages a portfolio of programs, projects and events, including The FoodTech Challenge, Ideas Abu Dhabi, startAD and the UAE Healthy Futures Study.

About The NYU Abu Dhabi Institute


Established in 2008, The NYU Abu Dhabi Institute is a center of advanced research, scholarly, and creative activity for Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and the world. Its academic conferences serve as a scholarly platform for NYU Abu Dhabi faculty, and faculty across the global network, to discuss and showcase their innovative research and creative activity. Its diverse public program of talks, panel discussions, film screenings, and exhibitions feature scholars, researchers, policy makers, and thought leaders who present topics of local and global significance. From its inception, The Institute has hosted more than 800 academic conferences and public events, and welcomed over 800 speakers from around the world.