Abu Dhabi: Over 400 UAE-based creative talents gathered on Saturday to participate in the first edition of Innovator 2014, an event that aims to foster creativity and innovation.
Held at the Zayed Sports City First Gulf Bank Arena, the event saw residents aged 12 to 60 showcasing their projects and prototypes developed across a spectrum of subjects such as science, technology, engineering, and art. The innovators displayed around 160 projects.
“Innovator is among TDC’s (Technology Development Committee) various strategic initiatives that aim to support and build a talent base in science, technology, and innovation in line with Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision,” said Majid Al Mail, senior manager at TDC and Head of the Innovator initiative.
Among the innovators, a group of four pupils from New York University Abu Dhabi presented their prototype for a T-shirt that detects the emotional state of autistic children.
“We collaborated with a [hospital for autism] in Ohio, and noticed that they didn’t know how the kids are feeling. What we’re trying to do is to help with a medical condition that has no cure,” said Oliver Heyn, one of the creators of the project titled E-Motion.
Illustrating his work, Heyn showed how the shirt detects a rocking motion, which autistic children perform when they feel anxious. A signal is then transmitted to a clock, which shows the signals over a 24-hour period so parents can better monitor their children.
“We already have schools interested in our design. If we win a prize today, we will use it to make [the shirt] more polished, and include a less bulky detector. We will also try to test the project and collaborate with schools,” he told Gulf News.
The event also invited sponsors and investors to visit, and discuss business opportunities with participants. There were also workshops and speeches by renowned innovators such as Mohammad Saeed Hareb, director of popular cartoon series Freej.
Aside from showcasing their work, participants were competing for a reward of Dh60,000.
The Innovator initiative is set to become an annual event to strengthen DIY ideas in Abu Dhabi.