Seven science innovators from the Arab world will compete to win the title of top Arab innovator in the latest season of Stars of Science (SoS), premiering on September 8. Commemorating its milestone 15th season this year, the TV show has come a long way in promoting STEM innovation in the Arab world and aspiring a new generation of scientists and entrepreneurs.
Hosted at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), the show’s continued success is also a testament to QF’s ethos of always being at the forefront in catalysing social progress and change in the Arab world.
Looking back at the 15-year journey of Stars of Science, Yosouf Al Salehi, QSTP executive director, said: “We are proud to have played our part in creating history with SOS. Hosting the programme is a testament to our ongoing commitment to advancing science and technology, propelling the region towards a sustainable and prosperous future.
“The show has not only created a great impact in the media industry within the region, but its strong record of empowering talented entrepreneurs has resulted in economic value and in the expansion of networks within academia, industry and governments, which is crucial in supporting the upcoming generations of Arab innovators.”
In addition to long-time juror Prof Fouad Mrad, Season 15 is also proud to welcome Dr Sara Buhmaid as a new jury member.
A practising Qatari obstetrician and gynaecologist at Sidra Medicine, a women’s and children’s hospital, Dr Buhmaid is thrilled to be a part of the upcoming season.
“I have been a keen follower of the show all these years, and it’s an honour for me to be part of the Stars of Science jury. What impresses me the most about Stars of Science is its mission to foster Arab innovators and its ecosystem of ground-breaking technologies and expertise. I strongly believe the next big thing will be Arab-made,” said Dr Buhmaid.
The STEM field has long been prone to a worldwide gender imbalance, and Stars of Science has worked consciously to give equal opportunities to women.
Sumaya Al Siyabi, an Omani scientist and a mother of three, was the first female winner of Stars of Science, representing the immense talent and potential of Arab women. Participating in season 14, Siyabi presented a floating device for the remediation and disposal of microplastics polluting our oceans and seas.
Starting out in 2009, the show first premiered on 17 national channels around the Arab region. It became available online in 2013 and its last season reached a total of over 24 million views.
With an alumni community of 161 members from 18 Arab countries, the innovators on Stars of Science demonstrate how they are guided by a strong urge to find tangible solutions to the most pressing demands our world faces, be it in food security, environmental protection, healthcare, animal life and even heritage.
In this regard, the programme counts many success stories that are worth recounting, as well as many products on the market that emerged from it.
Waddah Malaeb, winner of Season 12, is a Lebanese biomedical engineer and a ‘Forbes under 30’ nominee. His breakthrough technology in tissue engineering – organ-on-chip – aims to fully replace animal testing. After filing patents for his innovation in 12 districts, he started selling his lab testing services for clinical trials.
Dr Ahmad Nabeel, a finalist from Season 9, is a Kuwaiti physician and a guest jury on the programme.
He continues to refine his innovation, Klens, a virtual beam and self-cleaning laparoscope, bringing the innovative medical device closer to widespread use in the healthcare industry.
Abdulrahman Saleh Khamis, a finalist from Season 11, innovated a smart educational prayer rug, also known as Sajdah, aimed at helping young and newly converted Muslims perform their daily prayers.
The Qatari innovator was recently awarded a gold medal at the 48th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions and ITEX- Malaysia.
Stars of Science will air every Friday and Saturday from September 8, 2023 to October 20, 2023 on five channels in the region and online.
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