Doha, Qatar: Stars of Science has crowned Wadah Malaeb its Season 12 winner. The 26 year-old Lebanese engineer impressed the jury members and the public with his perseverance, talent, and personality, in a season filled with challenges presented by COVID-19.
The ceremony took place virtually, due to the ongoing pandemic, with the finalists in each of their home countries. Ahead of the final episode, fans of the Qatar Foundation TV show took to the internet to vote for their favourite contestant, and the online public vote – combined with the jury’s scores – determined the ultimate winner.
Wadah was stunned as host Khalid Al-Jumaily announced that his Ductal Organoid-on-a-Chip project received the highest marks from both the jury and the public, earning 54.8 percent of the total votes and securing the first prize worth $300,000. His Ductal Organoid-on-a-Chip provides a suitable environment that replicates real human conditions, enabling crucial prototype drug testing to be conducted efficiently and affordably.
“I am beyond humbled and grateful to be named the Arab world’s top innovator this year. The Stars of Science experience was surreal, especially working alongside an amazing group of mentors and competitors under such unique circumstances,” said Wadah, winner of Stars of Science Season 12. “Knowing that both the public and the jury members recognized the medical need for such innovation and putting their faith in me has changed my life!”
Ahmad Fathalla, inventor of the Educational Platform Using Electronic Cubes which delivers interactive games with a psychoeducational focus for children, came in second place with a percentage of 18.9, earning $150,000 in seed funding.
Eiman Al-Hamad came in third with 14.5 percent of the total votes for her Arabic Conversation Fraud Detection program which detects phone fraud attempts using an Arabic language database, securing $100,000. Mohammad Almogahwi and his Automated Hands-Free Toothbrush that ensures effective teeth brushing for the elderly and people with special needs, came in fourth place with a percentage of 11.8 and was awarded $50,000 to continue developing his innovation.
Arab innovators worldwide are encouraged to apply for the next season of Stars of Science.