DOHA: The third season of Stars of Science, the first Pan-Arab television show dedicated to innovation, will start airing from October 6 on MBC4.
This was announced yesterday at a press conference at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) where the main stages of the competition will be held. Representatives of Qatar Foundation (QF), permanent jury members, and previous winners attended the event. Rony Jazzar, CEO of Khayal Production, which is producing the show on behalf of QF, said MBC4 was chosen the main broadcaster as it caters mainly to the younger segment of viewers. He added the show, set to undergo extensive promotion and media coverage, will later air in other channels.
Jazzar said season 3 promises better quality of ideas and production with over 170 people who helped put up the show which took more than five months of preparation. He added Stars of Science aims at unifying the Arab world through the young innovators. The unique ‘docu-reality’ TV programme will begin its search for the next generation of young Arab innovators in a thrilling eight-week series, culminating in a live finale on December 1 at which a total of $600,000 in prize money will be awarded.
Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al Thani, President of the newly-formed Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Vice-President, Education, QF, said: “After the success of seasons 1 and 2, young Arab youths have proven they can turn concepts into reality. Qatar Foundation supports young people’s innovation under the initiative of H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser as it allows communication among the youth of the region, achieve a knowledge based society and promote Arab innovation.” Sheikh Abdulla said the show is the only format of its kind that is made by the region, for the region which aims to show that science can be both entertaining and enlightening.
Following an international recruitment campaign, episodes one and two will see candidates pitch their ideas to permanent jury members General Mohamad Al Kuwari, General Manager of EADS Competence Center of Qatar, and Professor Fouad Mrad, Executive Director of the Regional Technology Center-United Nations – ESCWA. The casting tour will take place in Qatar, Kuwait, KSA, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon and Syria. “Young people are an important resource we can invest in. I believe they have a lot to offer and we should provide them with necessary support,” said Al Kuwari.
Mrad said the show has proven how the new era of global development can turn young people’s ideas into real products with adequate support from institutions like QF. “More than just making the product, the show has also developed the participants’ teamwork, attitude and skills in business venture,” he said.
Star of Science’s latest winner Sadeq Qassem, has already won several awards in California and Geneva for his ‘Alchemist’, an automated multi-functional lab tester. The 26-year-old inventor, who is very much supported by Kuwait’s royal family for bringing honour to his country, recently opened his own company and now preparing to market his product by next year.
Season 1’s winner Bassam Jalgha is just awaiting the patent for his product ‘Tork’, an automated tuning device for Arabic string musical instruments. The young mechanical engineer has launched a new company specializing in Electronic prototyping and High Tech solutions in Beirut.
In episode three, the top candidates will attend a selection process in Doha, where they have an opportunity to impress the 10-strong jury who must select a shortlist of 16. The successful candidates are invited to enter a specially-designed workshop in QSTP where they can access state-of-the art resources as well as the support of top engineering, design and business professionals and experts from some of the world’s leading academic institutions and global organisations. In episodes four to eight, candidates will be tested on different aspects of the innovation cycle, including proof of concept, engineering, design and business, to ascertain whether their inventions have what it takes to become part of everyday life.
This season $600,000 in prize money is at stake for the top four to develop their innovations. First prize is $300,000, second prize: $150,000, third prize: $100,000 and fourth prize: $50,000. Stars of Science is supported by experts such as VIP juror Dr Farouk El-Baz, an Egyptian-American scientist widely known for his work at NASA, as well as blue-chip companies and universities which are partners of Qatar Foundation. Hosted by Khaled Jumali, Stars of Science will consist of eight prime-time episodes plus the finale when the public will be invited to vote alongside the Jury. Prime-time Episodes are 80 minutes, and they start from October 6 (10pm KSA), with 30 daily updates starting from October 28 (4.30pm KSA), on MBC4.
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