The best three projects of the Falling Walls Lab Competition, a platform for emerging researchers and entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas, have been announced by The Research Council (TRC).
Out of the 13 participants that made their way to the final stage, the final three were chosen last week. The best one will get a chance to represent Oman at the Falling Walls Lab main event, in Berlin on November 8, which will be fully virtual this year.
The award of the best project went to Razan al Kalbani for her project titled ‘Breaking the Wall of Paint absorbs X-rays’. Razan’s project aimed at preparing an environmentally friendly chemical compound used as a high-quality shield in X-ray attenuation (attenuation is the reduction of the intensity of an x-ray beam). The chemical compound is characterised by its flexibility and ease of formation.
Dr Hanan al Lawati’s project, titled ‘Breaking the wall of Cardiovascular Risks of Medications’, got the second place. The project was based onproviding evidence that reducing the distribution of drugs (e.g diclofenac) with provencardiovascular (CV) risk in the heart using nanoparticles will reduce their CV complications without compromising the efficacy.
Samah al Sarhani’s project titled ‘Breaking the wall of Utilisation of Fish Waste’ received the award of the third best project in this year’s competition. Samah’s project developed a fluidised bed bioreactor to utilise fish industry waste for production of bioactive and rheological oligopeptides for the pharma, food and lubricant industries.
The 13 finalists of the Falling Walls Lab Competition presented their research projects and business models, varying across different disciplines, in a duration of three minutes each.
Delivering the opening remarks, Dr Saif al Hiddabi, assistant secretary-general for Strategic Planning and Business Development at TRC, said, “Organising this competition falls within the efforts put by The Research Council for developing new methods for scientific communication and establishing long-term, firm, and sustainable connections.”
Dr Hiddabi conveyed his sincere thanks to Oman LNG for its support to this competition and their belief in the importance of its goals and the importance of partnership between industry, research and academia sectors.
Dr Wail Salim al Harrasi, Founder and CEO of Wabas Enterprises and Investments, delivered a motivational speech on knowledge-based economy and the opportunities it offers youths. “We capitalise on talent and give opportunity to youngsters to be part of the solution of the major problems of the world,” he said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of innovation and the vital role that youth can play, especially in terms of providing solutions to major problems for societies to be safer and more prosperous and productive,” Dr Harrasi added.
Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, all the contesters presented their projects online, before a competition jury which comprised Dr Mohamed al Mughairi, Petroleum Service Commercialisation manager at PDO, Dr Farah al Barwani, Research and Development manager at Oman Environmental Services Holding Company – be’ah, Eng Hilal al Shibli, general manager at Makers Oman, Abdullah al Balushi, team leader at Oman Animal & Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC), Dr Abdullah al Muniri, director of Medical Field at Oman Medical Specialty Board, and Dr Adhra al Mawali, director of Studies and Research Center at the Ministry Of Health.
The Falling Walls Lab competition, which was organised by TRC for the fifth consecutive year, in collaboration with Falling Walls Foundation in Germany, aims at boosting innovative ideas and business models among researchers and entrepreneurs across different fields. The competition also provides a platform for up-and-coming researchers to meet up with some of the best accomplished scholars, thus, offering a wonderful opportunity for emerging researchers and entrepreneurs from varying disciplines to expand their horizon and spike their interest in the research field even further through the Falling Walls Lab competition.
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