Season 2 of the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Camp (EMIC) finally has its shortlist of candidates, who have reached the penultimate stage of the competition!
EMIC 2 began accepting applications in September 2023, and over a period of two and a half months, received 124 applications. Approximately 40 were invited to the online pitching stage before the final seven candidates were selected to form the Innovation Squad of 2024.
The innovators will shortly enter workshop facilities to start working on their prototypes. Over 10 weeks, they will receive technical assistance and mentorship from subject matter experts, experienced engineers, product developers and designers, and innovation experts, while competing against each other through multiple elimination stages.
Applicants were asked to describe a novel idea or invention addressing either Health, Renewable Energy or the Environment and Climate Change. The overwhelming majority of innovators-in-the-making came from non-EU countries. Among the seven candidates, three are focusing on Health, one on Renewable Energy and three on Environment and Climate Change.
The Innovation Squad:
Rahma M. Tolba is a 35-year-old PhD researcher at the Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences, Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. Rahma is from Cairo and holds a master’s degree in Facial Animation from the same institution. During her master’s studies, she played a pivotal role in identifying new Action Units (AU) in the widely utilised Facial Action Coding System (FACS). This contribution significantly impacted the contemporary landscape of AI animation. She was also a former lecturer at the Canadian International College (CIC) and Future University in Egypt, instructing students in computer animation, speech recognition, virtual reality, and game programming. She also serves as a distinguished speaker at events organised by Google Developer Student Clubs (GDSC) at American University in Egypt (AUC), CIC, and Zaka.ai.
Rahma´s specialisation will be in Health.
Med Aziz Mhalla is a 23-year-old third-year electronics engineering student at the National Engineering School of Sousse in Tunisia. From Monastir, Tunisia, he specialised in embedded computer vision. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, Med Aziz actively engages in bootcamps and hackathons, and is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of SaluSecurity, a startup delivering innovative road safety solutions.
Med Aziz´s specialisation will be in Health.
From Cairo, Egypt, Muhammad Mounir is a 22-year-old senior at Galala University, majoring in Molecular Biotechnology with a minor in Business Administration, He has a profound interest in the synergy between environmental and health sciences. Through international internships in South Africa, Romania, China, and Italy, he has gained a global perspective on these interconnected fields. His active involvement in the COP27 event as a UN Secretariat member underscores his dedication to addressing global environmental challenges.
Muhammad´s specialisation will be in Health.
From top left clockwise: Rahma M. Tolba, Med Aziz Mhalla and Muhammad Mounir
Issak Missini is a 22-year-old third-year undergraduate student of International Relations and Diplomacy at The University American College Skopje, from where he is from in North Macedonia. As a young professional in the sphere of political science, he has published several scientific papers, essays, and documentaries on a range of topics from human rights to security reforms. He is also Junior Researcher and Programme Assistant at the Centre for European Strategies (Eurothink) in Skopje.
Isak´s specialisation will be in Renewable Energy.
Majda Mouaici is a 27-year-old PhD student from Baraki, Algeria. She is the founder of the startup ISOGRIN and Trainer – Animator at the National Centre for Integrated Building Studies and Research in Algeria. Holding the invention patent on ´a thermal insulating material based on olive pomace´, Majda came first in the ´women’s entrepreneurship prize,´ first in the national prize of ´the annual women entrepreneurship challenge´, first in the ´green entrepreneurship awards, ´ and gained a notable place in other national competitions.
Majda´s specialisation will be in Environment and Climate Change.
El Mahdi Aboulmanadel is a 23-year-old accomplished entrepreneur and AI expert with a passion for innovation. From Casablanca-Settat in Morocco, he is the founder of DeepLeaf, an agritech startup focusing on deep learning models for plant disease detection. He has won several awards, including second prize in the AgriYoung Innovate competition, first prize in U-founders, and first prize in Pitch AgriHack.
Aboulmanadel´s specialisation will be in Environment and Climate Change.
Khaier Eddine Bourguiba is a 26-year-old Tunisian student from the Virtual University of Tunis with a wealth of experience in technical design, photovoltaic equipment sales, and engine mechanics. His passion for innovation and continuous improvement has driven me to excel in various roles, from designing motorised quadricycles to installing photovoltaic systems. With a keen eye for creativity, a proactive mindset, he is dedicated to embracing new challenges and contributing to the advancement of technology and sustainable energy solutions.
Khaier Eddine´s specialisation will be in Environment and Climate Change.
From top left clockwise: Issak Missini, El Mahdi Aboulmanadel, Majda Mouaici and Khaier Eddine Bourguiba
Once in the workshops, the Innovation Squad will 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 (where EMUNI University is located) in late May.
Good luck Innovators!
For more on EMIC, go to the website: www.emic.si