The Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) crowned the Season 2 winner of the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Camp (EMIC) on Friday 7 June in a tense and exciting Grand Finale!

22-year-old Muhammad Mounir from Egypt, a 4th level student from Galala University in Cairo, will take home the 1st place prize money of 5,000 euros. Mounir, who is majoring in Molecular Biotechnology with a minor in Business Administration, was hosted by Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and mentored by Assoc. Prof. dr. Ita Junkar.

In second place and taking home the prize of 3,000 euros is Rahma M. Tolba, a 35-year-old PhD researcher at the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences, Ain Shams University, also in Cairo. Third place and the prize of 2,000 euros went to 23 year-old Med Aziz Mhalla, a third-year electronics engineering student at the National Engineering School of Sousse in Tunisia.  Both focused on Health for their specialisation.

The EMIC Grand Finale was held via Zoom, during which the five finalists made their final pitch for their ´innovation´, using a short video clip of their prototype journey before being questioned by a jury of three members. The Finale drew an audience of over 220 participants.

Muhammad´s innovation was focused on Health, and on revolutionising wound care with sustainable innovation. SugarHeal´s biodegradable patches and 3D printing technology offer advanced solutions for chronic and acute wounds, promoting rapid recovery and reducing healthcare costs. Combining eco-friendly practices and ground breaking technology, you can discover more about SugarHeal on its Facebook page: Facebook SugarHeal

On winning, Muhammad stated: “I am honored to represent the SugarHeal team and Galala University in achieving first place at the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Camp (EMIC). This victory brings immense pride and validates our efforts in revolutionizing wound care with sustainable practices. Building on this success, our future plans include enhancing our product’s capabilities through advanced research and development, strategically scaling SugarHeal to introduce it to the market. We will implement a robust marketing strategy to increase product visibility, engage with users for continuous feedback and improvement, and expand our team by hiring skilled professionals to drive our mission forward. Our commitment to sustainability remains unwavering as we transform agricultural waste into valuable, eco-friendly wound care solutions. This achievement motivates us to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation and make a significant positive impact on global health and the environment. Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey; we are excited about the future and look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

The other finalists were: Isak Missini, a 22-year-old third-year undergraduate student of International Relations and Diplomacy at The University American College Skopje in North Macedonia, who specialised in Renewable Energy; and 27-year-old PhD student from Baraki, Algeria, Majda Mouaici, who dedicated her ´innovation´ to Environment and Climate Change. 

EMUNI University, 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.

122 applications were received before the longlist progressed through various stages to produce 12 shortlisted candidates and thereafter, the final six made it to bootcamp. This season saw additional and much valued support from the Agricultural University of Athens (Greece), Inkubator Sezana and Patentni biro AF (Slovenia). The average age of the applicants was just under 25 years-old.

EMUNI and its partners and sponsors would like to extend a big thank you to all the candidates who worked tirelessly on their prototypes for the previous months. The young innovators were hosted either in the workshop facility at EMUNI or the Jožef Stefan Institute in Slovenia, where they received technical assistance and mentorship from subject matter experts, experienced engineers, product developers and designers, and innovation experts.

Georgios Paliouras, last year´s EMIC winner from Greece, appeared to wish the finalists luck, and stressed how participation in the competition can be instrumental in developing your innovation in the future.

The jury of three was composed of Karen Gladović, Head of Higher Education Department at EMUNI, Prof. Dr. Jaka Vadnjal, Head of Academic Affairs at EMUNI and Prof. Dr. Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry, former President at EMUNI.