during ‘Ras Al Khaimah Innovation and Sustainability Challenge’ at  at the Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island in RAK in Feb 2023
A student explains a project during the event Image Credit: Supplied

Ras Al Khaimah: Hundreds of students from across Ras Al Khaimah have taken part in a challenge to devise innovative solutions for various sustainability issues.

The ‘Ras Al Khaimah Innovation and Sustainability Challenge’ was designed by the University of Bolton Academic Centre - Ras Al Khaimah, in partnership with RAKEZ Academic Zone and RAK Education Zone (Ministry of Education). High school students from grades nine to 12 and university students from institutions across Ras Al Khaimah were encouraged to participate as teams to raise awareness of sustainability issues.

The format was designed to encourages students to develop their capacity for independent research.

Winners were recently awarded their prizes on the sidelines of the 14th International Workshop on Advanced Materials (IWAM) at the Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island.

Organised by the Ras Al Khaimah Centre for Advanced Materials, IWAM is a global forum for research and discovery in the field of Advanced Materials. Highlights of this year’s event included a session led by Professor Xiaodong Zou, a member of the Nobel Prize Committee for Chemistry, from the University of Stockholm; and a talk from Andre Geim, a winner.

Themes and categories

Under the main theme of ‘Sustainability through Innovation’ and sub-themes of ‘Energy’, ‘Environment’, ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Water Resources’, groups of up to four students were asked to submit entries across six categories, with the chance to win cash prizes. The categories were Poster Challenge, Project, Scientific Case Study, The Third Eye: Photography Contest, Colouring/Drawing Contest and Presentation. With three teams per category winning prizes, it amounts to a total of 18 winning teams across the competitions.

read more


In the university category, Team Falcons secured first position with their presentation on additive and subtractive manufacturing techniques and their impact on the construction industry, while first prize in the schools category went to the Indian School RAK for their innovative project on harnessing the potential energy of flowing water in gutters to generate electricity.

Ras Al Khaimah students join sustainability challenge 5-1677319084172
A chance to win cash prizes was part of the event Image Credit: Supplied

Several other individual and team winners were also announced as students showcased their ideas in categories such as photography, case studies and poster sessions to some of the world’s top scientists.

Research efforts

Raj Nambiar, Campus Director at the University of Bolton Academic Centre – Ras Al Khaimah, said: “The University of Bolton Academic Centre – Ras Al Khaimah takes immense pride in its Engineering and Technology-related programmes and both students and staff have worked tirelessly over the past 15 years to further the cause of innovation and sustainability through research efforts, competitions and projects.”

He added: “The Ras Al Khaimah Innovation and Sustainability Challenge, in its inaugural edition, has seen significant success in terms of the participation and keen competition. The competition sparked students’ imagination on sustainability issues and for them to come to IWAM and discuss their ideas with expert scientists was an experience that may be defining for them when considering their future career paths.”

Team work

Dr Steven Reissig, Chief Academic Zone Officer at RAKEZ Academic Zone, said: “RAKEZ Academic Zone is thrilled with the level of student engagement with this science competition. We would like to thank the University of Bolton Academic Centre – Ras Al Khaimah for leading this initiative, as well as the strategic partners from Stevin Rock, the IWAM Board and the Ministry of Education (RAK Education Zone). Students had the opportunity to deepen their insights and knowledge of the important topic of sustainability, as well as working collaboratively in teams.”

He added: “Ras Al Khaimah is a keen supporter of science and continues to develop its education system holistically, so it has been a very productive challenge, and one that we would certainly look to build on in the future.”