In early April, the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) welcomed the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Camp (EMIC) shortlist of candidates of 2024 at the University headquarters in Piran, Slovenia.

The Innovation Squad will now proceed through various elimination stages that will focus on proof of concept, engineering, prototyping/testing and customer validation, until the final candidates reach the finale, which will be held in Piran, Slovenia in the first week of June.

EMUNI University, Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) and the Euromed University of Fes (UEMF) are partners in this exciting competition for Mediterranean youth aged 18-35, which is supported by the Republic of Slovenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). EMIC 2 began accepting applications in September 2023, for which applicants were asked to describe a novel idea or invention addressing either Health, Renewable Energy or the Environment and Climate Change.

All six candidates are now busy working on their innovations at bootcamp, alongside their mentors.

Rahma M. Tolba, a 35-year-old PhD researcher at the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences, Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, whose assigned mentor is Prof. Dr. Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry (Egypt), is focusing on Health. Rahma is excited to be based at EMUNI for bootcamp:  

“The dynamic and collaborative atmosphere of the innovation camp has sparked my excitement for exploring novel ideas and pushing the limits of possibilities. My involvement in the project has been marked by substantial development. With each milestone, I have expanded my knowledge and abilities, thanks to the supportive guidance of my mentor.”

Rahma and her mentor, Prof. Dr. Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry above

Med Aziz Mhalla, a 23-year-old third-year electronics engineering student at the National Engineering School of Sousse in Tunisia, is also remaining in Piran and is specialising in Health under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Ghassan Dib. Med Aziz stressed the importance of the long-term benefits of EMIC:

“I’m deeply thankful to my mentor for his invaluable guidance and unwavering support, as well as to everyone working hard to make this bootcamp successful. This experience isn’t just about prototypes, but also about embracing innovation and forming lasting connections that will continue to inspire long after the competition ends.”

Med Aziz and his mentor, Prof. Dr. Ghassan Dib above

In Ljubljana, Slovenia, JSI is hosting Muhammad Mounir, a 22-year-old senior at Galala University from Cairo in Egypt, who is majoring in Molecular Biotechnology with a minor in Business Administration. Focusing on Health, Muhammad is being mentored by Assoc. Prof. dr. Ita Junkar.

Muhammad and his mentor, Assoc. Prof. dr. Ita Junkar above

Isak Missini, a 22-year-old third-year undergraduate student of International Relations and Diplomacy at The University American College Skopje in North Macedonia, is also based at JSI and is the only candidate this year specialising in Renewable Energy under the mentorship of Dr. Marko Matkovič.

Isak: “The camp so far has been invigorating to say the least. Whether it be the logistical prowess of the organisers or the unwavering support stemming from the mentor they have provided me with, the camp so far has not only met, but exceeded my expectations, and I very much look forward to the next stages in the competition and going all the way. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am determined to seize it and realize it to its full potential.”

Isak with Dr. Marko Matkovič above

27-year-old PhD student from Baraki, Algeria, Majda Mouaici, has dedicated her ´innovation´ to Environment and Climate Change, under the mentorship of Dr. Uroš Hribar, also at JSI. Majda:

“The atmosphere at the camp is inspiring, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to exchange ideas and knowledge with my peers and mentors. I am eagerly anticipating the journey ahead and am fully committed to steering our project towards success.I am extremely grateful to my mentor, Uroš Hribar, for his invaluable support and expert guidance, which have been crucial in the development of our project. I also want to express my deep appreciation to EMUNI University for this unique opportunity to participate in the EMIC Challenge.”

Majda with Dr. Uroš Hribar above

The sixth candidate, 26 year-old Khaier Eddine Bourguiba from the Virtual University of Tunis in Tunisia, whose specialisation is in Environment and Climate Change, is being hosted by the Agricultural University of Athens in Greece, which is the alma mater of EMIC Season 1 Winner, Georgios Paliouras.

Khaier Eddine described working with his mentor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Georgios Liakopoulos, as incredibly rewarding:

“I’m learning so much and feeling really inspired by his guidance. There have been some bumps along the road, but the Athens mentorship has helped me approach challenges with a fresh perspective. I’m excited to see what the rest of the project holds!”

Khaier Eddine and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Georgios Liakopoulos below

Good luck Innovators!