Abu Dhabi skyline
ADGM Academy’s Research Centre on Friday announces the winners of the inaugural UAE Student Challenge. Photo of Abu Dhabi skyline for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: ADGM Academy’s Research Centre has announced the winners of the inaugural UAE Student Challenge.

The Challenge held in partnership with the Swift Institute and sponsored by Mubadala Investment Company, was focused 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.

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.

First place winners

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.

Second place

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 July 12 2023. The conference focused on sustainability and the role of the financial sector. The winners have been awarded a certificate and cash prizes.

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 November 30 to December 12, 2023.

Sibos conference

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.

Student Challenge

Mansoor Jaffar, CEO of ADGM Academy & Research centre said: “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.”

Climate change

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.”