Under the Patronage of HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), the virtual closing ceremony of the Hult Prize – PSUT was held on January 14th, 2021, in which three teams qualified to represent PSUT at the global level. The ceremony was attended by the regional director of the Prize, Humam Dweik, its community manager, Laith AlZamer, and its public relations coordinator, Laith Barmawi.
In her patronage speech, Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan expressed the importance of this year’s theme, "Food for Good", under which the Prize aimed to highlight the students’ innovative ideas for providing solutions to food surplus problems so that they can be efficiently managed according to its quality and fair distribution. In her closing speech, Her Highness took the audience through some of the major social and environmental challenges of our food system today, as well as some of the opportunities that can give the rise to the innovative ideas.
Within the same context, Her Royal Highness drew attention to the untapped potentials that should be utilized in smart agriculture for the innovation and expansion of the agriculture sector. Her Highness also emphasized the importance of using scientific development of big data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things with the goal of uncovering the possibilities of engaging agriculture with equipped and effective profound learning algorithms.
Her Highness added, "We have to think of how we can cultivate and grow members of the Jordanian entrepreneurship sector talented women and men driven to create start-ups fueled by their enthusiasm, determination, and most importantly, their talents."
The President of PSUT, Prof. Mashhoor Al-Refai, thanked Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan for her patronage of the ceremony and her unceasing support for creative students in various fields, stressing that her unceasing support represents the greatest encouragement and the strongest incentive to go on to achieve further successes at all levels.
Al-Refai indicated that the Hult Prize is an important international youth award, which devotes its efforts to launching initiatives to transform the world into a better place using the vehicle of teamwork as a basis. He added that PSUT seeks to participate in such competitions to encourage its students to hone their talents, enrich their knowledge and strengthen their capabilities to work within a team.
Mr. Humam Dweik said that the award revolves around innovation and entrepreneurship for young people, and aims to motivate them to solve problems and create change by developing ideas into profitable companies that also contribute to development.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Rami Salem, indicated that PSUT had adhered to all the conditions and regulations of the award in terms of selecting the judges, logistical arrangements and designs, including lighting its venue in pink in line with the award's directives.
Ahmed Sharif, student president of the PSUT’s Hult Prize Club, thanked HRH Princess Sumaya for her continuous support to the University’s students and their entrepreneurial ideas, and her constant efforts to motivate them. He also recognized the tireless dedication of the PSUT administration in assisting the students in their extracurricular activities in order to enhance their capabilities and polish their talents.
Eleven teams from the University participated in the competition, six of which qualified as finalists by submitting ideas for startups that contribute to solving problems related to food and food supply chains. The team named Zaytunitna, comprised of students Batoul Barakat, Jana Al-Dabbas, and Sadeel Al-Mowahad, won first place, while the Bloom Team (Mohammad Ibrahim, Kareem Al-Mulqi, and Aws Al-Masri) took second place. The Fresh Team, which included Hamza Daoud, Mona Odeh, and Nada Moussa, finished in third place. The first-placed winning team qualifies to participate in the competition at the international level.
The ceremony was hosted by students Raad Kloub and Mawj Al Rabab'ah, video, where presentations were made to give background information about the Prize, the judges’ panel, and the preliminary qualifiers. The panel of judges included Mohammad Obeidat, Executive Director of PSUT’s Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship, Layan al-Salhi, Sadeer Ghazi, Asma al-Kayalli, Mohammad Misto, and Ziad Barouni.
The Hult Prize is organized by the Hult International Business School. It is one of the five most important awards for young people at the global level and aims to launch new social institutions capable of making fundamental changes in the world. A prize of one million US dollars is awarded to the best team globally. The competition targets undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students.