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Stars of Science proposes to inspire young people to dedicate their lives to science-based innovation using a reality TV show. The programme is based on a competition between young inventors (men and women aged 18 to 30).

EDUCATIONAL LEVEL (age)

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ANALYSIS OF INNOVATION

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1. PROBLEM THAT THE INNOVATION TRIES TO SOLVE

To improve the perception of engineering among young people in the Arab world.

Qatar is a small, rich country, but with an economy based on natural gas and oil. The goal is to transform it into a knowledge-based economy by unlocking its human potential, thereby contributing to regional and international development.

The Qatar Foundation is pursuing this mission under three fundamental pillars: education; science and research; and community development.

2. WHAT SOLUTION  IS PROPOSED?

The aim of the Qatar Foundation’s (QF) science and research strategy is to build the country’s innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercialising science-based solutions. QF therefore presents one of its key projects, Stars of Science.

By employing the communications media (reality TV), it proposes to inspire young people to dedicate themselves to science-based innovation.

Stars of Science is the first Pan-Arab reality-TV programme dedicated to innovation, aiming to shine a spotlight on the next generation of young Arab innovators.

3. HOW DOES THIS SOLUTION WORK? 

It is a pioneering idea for television consisting of a reality show in which the participants have to turn their ideas into inventions and transform these into products.

Concept:

  • 16 inventors;
  • Men and woman aged 18 to 30;
  • Arabic speaking;
  • Competing to create their invention.

First, they go through a three-step selection process: expert committee (chooses the innovative ideas); innovator casting; attendance at workshops in Doha for three months by the 16 contestants selected.

The project chosen must meet some basic criteria: the possibility of turning the idea into a prototype in three months; the usefulness of the product for society; respect for both the laws of science and the protection of intellectual property rights.

The television programme also has three rounds: proof of concept; product engineering; and business model and marketing.

The programme consists of:

  • Eight episodes aired at prime time, which include: project development; working with the experts; the invention gains life; and evaluation and screening;
  • 30 daily episodes: getting to know the 16 candidates, connecting at the emotional level and knowledge of their efforts and successes.

Stars of Science receives the support of a series of experts and mentors, such as Dr. Farouk El-Baz, an Egyptian-American scientist famous for his work with NASA and with top-flight companies and universities that are partners of the Qatar Foundation. These include the Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar; Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar; Texas A & M University in Qatar and the Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Other participants are the College of the North Atlantic in Qatar and Qatar Science & Technology Park.

4. IMPACT INDICATORS AND RESULTS

  • A Pan-Arab television programme broadcast in 22 Arab countries.
  • Five successful seasons since 2009.
  • In the second season, more than 7,000 applications were received.
  • More than 20 nationalities are represented among the candidates and production team of Stars of Science.
  • The programme has more than 100 experts from every continent in a wide range of disciplines, from engineering to business.

5. INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Its media potential, with millions of viewers exposed to the culture of innovation.
  • The Qatar Foundation networking with educational institutions involved in the Arab world.
  • Reinforcing a culture of self-confidence in inventing and creating.
  • Exposure of the learning process and satisfaction of the participants.
  • International audience.

6. GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

Currently shown in eight Arab countries: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and Kuwait.

7. INCOME MODEL

The income model is the sponsorship of the television programme by the Qatar Foundation and companies.