AUST launched the Third Entrepreneurship and Innovation Educational Initiative whereby teams of students of various majors, together with a school student, were created to collaborate under the supervision of academicians from the university and in collaboration with the private sector. The objective was to join students and faculty from different disciplines where people can exchange best practices in educational technology and innovation.
This technological revolution is multi-dimensional and has myriad results on the economy, the production centers and the labor market and a profound impact on the educational programs and methodology, and the means the universities follow to impart and generate knowledge, and on their pursuit of preparing graduates to become worthy of being effective partakers of the labor market. As such, Vice President Dr. Riad Sakr from AUST immersed himself in advocating a compatible policy that balances between the role of the university to produce and spread knowledge and its responsibility towards the society and our students, with the collaboration and partnership of companies. VP Sakr’s major aim when he encouraged deans, chairs, and faculty members to have students sit together as a team and brainstorm for new ideas towards new product development was in order to:
For many months, the students sat together with their mentors, exploring innovative ideas and trying as entrepreneurs to tackle social, economic and/or environmental problems, and create new services and products. The culmination to their effort was a Gala Dinner in which 7 teams presented in front of a panel of esteemed jury members, who are pioneers in their respective fields. The jury panel was comprised of:
As the teams presented, the jury voted online. The teams presented in alphabetical order:
Following presentations, everybody retreated to a lovely dinner.
The event ended with VP Sakr addressing the audience before announcing the winners: “The contribution of entrepreneurship and innovation to economic prosperity has grown with the shift of the global economy towards a mode of production in which knowledge has become a key input. Entrepreneurship contributes to a progress that is economically and socially inclusive by reducing unemployment, poverty and social exclusion. At AUST, we set about to examine reality and to predict the future to discern what to teach and how we can best equip our students for future work, and to encourage them to unlatch their creativity and academic capacities and skills. By Including School students and Industry Advisory members, we are ensuring the complete communication channel between the schools, the universities and the work force to disseminate knowledge in a productive and efficient way”
VP Sakr then extended his special thanks to Bank of Beirut, the gold sponsor of the ‘Start-up Project”, through the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Salim Sfeir, who was represented by Mr. George Awad, Director of Consumer Banking. The Vice-President then proceeded to thank the jury members who have shown enthusiasm when they heard of this initiative, and came not only to judge but also to encourage and support the creativity of the students. Vice President Sakr, moreover thanked the mentors, the AUST students, the school students, the industry team advisors, the IT Department, the Printing and Media Department, the Entrepreneurship Trainer Ms. Nadine Ghannoum El Hage, and the overall Initiative Coordinator and Chairperson of the Mathematics Department Hiba Othman for working to make this venture a reality, and promised everybody that this will be an annual event. Then AUST’s President, Mrs. Hiam Sakr and Bank of Beirut’s Director for Consumer Banking Mr. George Aouad joined him on stage to distribute awards of innovative achievement to the winners.