The hugely popular competition aims to inspire youth to work toward achieving environmental excellence in society
Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has initiated the third edition of its Young Innovator Awards Competition. The initiative seeks to offer a platform that encourages youth to devise practical solutions to ensure environmentally responsible approaches that can be adapted into sustainable lifestyle practices.
Open to students of all national and international schools in Qatar, the competition is in line with QEERI’s mission to create awareness among the youth about Qatar’s grand challenges in general, while giving them a deeper understanding of climate change and sustainability.
This year’s competition is being held under the theme of “Old Problems, New Solutions: What is the Next Big Thing for the Energy-Water-Environment Nexus?” Possible sub-themes for exploration include water security, reuse, management, sustainable technologies, pollution mitigation, and treatment; solar energy, renewable energy, alternative fuel, and biofuels; environmental protection and prevention, risk assessment, human health impacts, environmental risk communication, urban pollution, waste minimization, wetlands, CO2 capture; material invention, innovation and nanotechnology. The competition is being organized as part of QEERI’s flagship forum, the International Conference on Sustainable Energy-Water-Environment Nexus in Desert Climate 2021 (ICSEWEN21), which will take place between November 22-25.
Young Innovator participants will be divided into age groups. The junior category (6-9 years) will present their ideas by drawing their solutions for a more sustainable living, while the intermediate category contestants (10-13 years) are required to submit research posters. The senior category (14-17 years) will provide a research abstract and undertake project presentations. All levels will begin with a preliminary round, and five finalists in each category will have the chance to showcase their entries during ICSEWEN21.
Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director, QEERI, said: “It is heartening to see that, besides scientists and environmentalists, the youth of today are becoming increasingly aware of the urgent work needed toward protecting our environment; they literally become our ambassadors in their families, in schools and in the country. The Young Innovator Awards Competition 2021 aims to inspire the youth of today - the change-makers of tomorrow - to explore and understand today’s challenges and envision and conceive practical solutions that will help not only Qatar but the region achieve its sustainability goals. QEERI is absolutely committed to promoting science and research among young people; it is a fundamental component of our mission. A competition of this nature demonstrates the endless possibilities that exist for safeguarding and making better use of our finite natural resources.”
Dilraz Kunnummal, PR, Outreach and Communications Specialist, QEERI, who manages student outreach, said: “Over the last two years, we have had over 1,200 students participate in this event. The scientific acumen and creativity we have seen, even from children as young as six years old, has been awe-inspiring. We look forward to another year of interesting research ideas and discussions from the students. We believe that learning about aspects such as climate change, energy and water conservation, and environmental protection will encourage them to take small steps toward sustainability every day, thereby slowly building a positive movement.”
The judging panel will comprise esteemed academics and business figures from the fields of energy, environment, and water research. Entries will be judged on factors such as the value of the recommendation showcased, quality, and creativity.
Rules, guidelines, and registration forms are available at https://www.hbku.edu.qa/en/academic-events/QEERI-SUST-YIA21. Registrations close on October 20, 2021, and the last day to receive submissions will be October 31, 2021.