- Nirvana Amjad, Emaan Ali, Ahmad Hijazi and Abdullah Ahmed from New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) win the 2023 UAE Student Challenge.
- The inaugural UAE Student Challenge was organised by ADGM Academy’s Research Centre in partnership with the Swift Institute and sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company.
- The topic of the challenge focussed on the financial sector’s role in supporting the UAE’s transition to a net zero economy and was aligned with the upcoming COP28 topics.
As part of continuing to build research capabilities in the country and focus on developing applied-based solutions to critical problems, ADGM Academy’s Research Centre in partnership with the Swift Institute and sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company announced the winners of the inaugural UAE Student Challenge. The Challenge was focussed on the financial sector’s vital role in supporting the UAE’s transition to a net zero economy and was open to students from recognised universities across the UAE. This aligns to the UAE National strategy to develop the next generation of innovation champions and pioneer new ideas in priority sectors of the nation.
The UAE Student Challenge aims to tap into the minds of the next generation of thought leaders, entrepreneurs and practitioners encouraging them to offer fresh ideas and perspectives on the challenges that the financial sector and society are facing today. With a focus on UAE’s transition to net zero goals, in addition to the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, this year’s challenge in the UAE was aligned with the upcoming Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28) scheduled to be held in the UAE from 30th November – 12th December 2023.
The first-place winners of the 2023 Student Challenge are Nirvana Amjad, Emaan Ali, Ahmad Hijazi and Abdullah Ahmed from New York University Abu Dhabi. They impressed the panel of judges from the financial sector with their innovative ideas on raising capital for the UAE’s green transition, including the issuance of green bonds and the creation of climate derivatives to finance climate adaptation.
In second place was Rida Mobin from Abu Dhabi University and in third place was Narmeen Al Marzouqi from Zayed University. The top three winners were amongst the five shortlisted candidates for this challenge who presented their ideas at the second edition of ‘The Research Series Conference’ held in Abu Dhabi on 12 July 2023. The conference focussed on sustainability and the role of the financial sector. The winners have been awarded a certificate and cash prizes.
Facilitated by ADGM Academy’s Research Centre, the first-place team from NYUAD have an invitation to present their idea at the annual Sibos conference being held in Toronto, Canada in September 2023. This is the first time in the history of Sibos where UAE students will present potential research-based solutions on an international stage to global finance-based institutions.
The Challenge provided essential exposure to the UAE’s university students, enabling them to promote their ideas within the financial sector and drive positive change through innovation and creative thinking. The organisers offered mentoring and coaching to students assisting them in refining their ideas and delivering high-quality presentations.
Mansoor Jaffar, CEO of ADGM Academy & Research Centre said, “We extend our congratulations to the winners and thank all the enthusiastic participants from various universities within the UAE. The 2023 UAE Student Challenge centred around the important theme of sustainability in the UAE’s financial. It aimed to provide a platform for students to analyse and generate innovative solutions and concepts with a fresh perspective, helping students enhance their problem-solving skills and gain valuable exposure to the UAE’s and international financial industry. We believe such platforms also benefit students to secure promising job opportunities within the financial sector and to implement their creative ideas into the marketplace.”
“By leveraging the power of research and innovation, the ADGM Academy Research Centre aims to redefine the boundaries of what is possible, shaping the financial landscape of tomorrow. We reinforce our commitment to nurturing local talent by developing and applying the knowledge and skills of such students, as we actively contribute to the growth of the UAE’s knowledge economy.”, he added.
The Director of the Swift Institute, Nancy Murphy said, “The students of today have been raised in a world that is witnessing the effects of climate change. They know our future, their future, will be better if humankind can make a change. The Swift Institute is proud to have partnered with the ADGM Academy Research Centre on this first Student Challenge in the UAE to showcase the ideas to address the financial sector’s role in supporting the UAE’s transition to a net zero economy. It was wonderful to be in Abu Dhabi to witness the amazing presentations by the students. I look forward to welcoming the winning team at Sibos in Toronto.”