Studentled InnovAIte Hackathon supported by Emirates NBD and DIFC Innovation Hub garners huge success

Student-led InnovAIte Hackathon supported by Emirates NBD and DIFC Innovation Hub garners huge success

3 Min | 21 March 2024

Dubai, UAE, 21 March 2024: Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Türkiye) region, has lauded the success of the InnovAIte Hackathon, the first student-led national AI Hackathon held in the UAE. The three-day event culminated with a grand finale on 3 March 2024 at the DIFC Innovation Hub and was attended by students, teachers, parents and partners. Held in collaboration with the National Program for Coders, the InnovAIte Hackathon was led by four Dubai College high school students, Aadi Jain, Maha Nawaz, Rushabh Jain and Aryav Odhrani, and backed by Emirates NBD, DIFC Innovation Hub and Hale Education Group.

Miguel Rio Tinto, Group Chief Digital and Information Officer at Emirates NBD, said: “We are delighted to celebrate the success of the InnovAIte Hackathon and extend our congratulations to all the winners and participants for their dedication and the inventive concepts they presented. Emirates NBD’s support of the InnovAIte Hackathon resonates with our long-term commitment to supporting young minds and championing innovation as a means to find practical solutions to modern-day challenges. We look forward to ongoing collaborations with partners who share our vision, as we aspire to serve the community and help shape the future by empowering the youth to harness the transformative power of technology.”

Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO of DIFC Innovation Hub, said: “The InnovAIte Hackathon stands as a testament to the remarkable potential and creativity harboured within the youth of our nation. The DIFC Innovation Hub is dedicated to fostering innovation and technological advancement, and we are proud to support initiatives like this that not only empower students but also contribute to the growth of our ecosystem. The enthusiasm and ingenuity displayed by the participants and winners underscore the bright future ahead for the UAE's AI landscape. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Emirates NBD, Hale Education Group, and other partners to nurture the next generation of innovators and change-makers.”

Out of a total of 34 teams who registered for the hackathon, six were shortlisted to present their innovative solution addressing the prompt ‘Utilise AI to assist teachers and/or students’ on the final day, culminating in the selection of four winning teams. The four winning teams and their projects included:

  • Best Project; ‘ESAS’ consisting of Emre Ozer, Shady Abdallah, Ayan Shariff and Sabeen Sharifffrom Dubai College. Their winning project of using speech to text in AI to record lessons and using Generative AI to provide more information about the topic to the user, garnered praise for the innovative use of technology to aid education. They were awarded with a trophy from the National Program for Coders along with a cash reward of AED 2000 along with AED 2000 in Hale Education Rewards.
  • Second place was won by ‘Machine Mindset’, made up of Mohammad Allahham, Michael Chen, Johann Herbert and Ronak Rajpurohit from GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis, Dubai who used AI and Natural Language Processing to assist students in revising specific topics.
  • Third place went to team ‘The Cryptons’; Kashvi Anand, Aditi Anand and Pranjal Maghani from GEMS Winchester School, Dubai who developed a project aimed at utilising AI to aid students in kinaesthetic learning methods.
  • Fourth place was taken by team ‘Back Prop Ninjas’, Satvik Singh, Samuel Hepworth, Aryan Ravi and Aarav Jha from Dubai College who used ChatGPT and DALL.E. to come up with visual presentations on any given topic for students and teachers.

Along with the presentations, the event featured a Tech Talk curated by Krisztián Modrovics, Lead Data Scientist and Mona Zain Al Zubaidi, Senior Data Scientist, from Emirates NBD. Other on-site activities included an on-site AI Image Generation Competition where participants were challenged to use free AI tools to create captivating images depicting the future of Dubai proved to be a fun activity for the students.

The judging panel included Latifa Al Hammadi, Academic Vice Principal at Al Selaa School and Platinum Coding Ambassador; Arvind Krishnamurthy, Head of Digital and Business Banking, Emirates NBD; Steve Gotz, Head of Corporate Innovation at DIFC Innovation Hub; Peter Larnholt, Technology Leader (Telecom); Mark Wood, Head of CS (Educator); Faisal Nawaz, Business Leader; and Vishal Jain, Tech Co-Founder.

All students received participation certificates from the National Program for Coders. The event attracted an overwhelming response, from the UAE high school community, with 320 registrations forming 100 teams from 46 schools representing 38 nationalities.

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