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AUIS and AEIC host inaugural Innovation Awards recognizing talent from across the country

  American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) and the AUIS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards hosted the inaugural AUIS Innovation Awards (AIA) 2022 on January 13, 2022, in a live televised event. The Innovation Awards were designed to honor Iraqis behind innovations of recent years that have shown a positive impact in addressing unmet needs in society. This was the country’s first such award to honor innovators who shape our future and make our lives better. AIA also aimed to spotlight outstanding achievements across various sectors.   The event was hosted by AUIS Lecturer Ms. Goshan Qaradaghi, and featured addresses by AUIS President Dr. Bruce Walker Ferguson, Sulaimani Governor Dr. Haval Abubakr, and AEIC Director and AUIS Professor Dr. Hemin Latif.    The Awards was open for submissions from entities and individuals, with a primary criteria of demonstrating innovation and a positive impact in communities across the country.   Five winners were announced during the awards ceremony: Diamond winner Bina App Gold winner Mosul Space Gold winner Book Your Doctor Silver winner iOT Kids Silver winner Rebare Adam In addition to the winners, Mr. Saad T. Hasan, CEO of Qaiwan Group, received the event's Catalyst Award for his organization's generous support of the Awards.    The Awards jury included a diverse panel of judges from around the world: ​Rava Khorshid, Director of the Professional Development Institute (PDI) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Karen Eksteen, Co-Founder of Innocircle, an innovation consultancy in South Africa. Rasha Massalkhy, Head of Incuvestments and Entrepreneurship Programs at INNOVEST Middle East​ in Beirut, Lebanon. Niall Ardill, Advisor for Start-Up Entrepreneurship at Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Youth in Baghdad, Iraq. Dr. Randi Barzinji, Lecturer, Business Administration Department at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Dr. Wisam K. Khalid, Lecturer, Horticulture and Landscape Design Department and CDC Director of Mosul University. Tahar Benattia, Programme Manager at Expertise France, the French public agency for international cooperation and technical expertise. David Woodward, Founder of DAVID WOODWARD & ASSOCIATES LLC (DW), President of the American Consortium of Universities, Principal for EdTech Innovation & Cultural Diplomacy of Yunity LLC, and Senior Advisor for Strategic Outreach for INTERLINK International Institutes. Yad K. Rashid, Chief Executive Officer at Avesta Group in Sulaimani, Iraq. Aziz Nassiri, Chief Executive Officer at RiTS Iraq, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Riyada for Innovation.   The AUIS Innovation Awards were first announced in a press conference on November 1, 2021. Submissions were accepted until December 2, 2021. The AIA jury evaluated the submitted applications in three rounds. Applications were submitted and evaluated in Kurdish, Arabic and English.    The AUIS Innovation Awards were made possible by the generous support of donors who include Qaiwan Group — an international company operating in Iraq and across the wider Middle East — television broadcaster Kurdsat, and digital media company Future Media.  

AUIS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center Announces Call for Applications For AUIS Innovation Awards

  The AUIS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (AEIC) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) announced today the AUIS Innovation Awards (AIA), which will highlight innovation excellence in institutions in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and put a spotlight on innovative solutions that have had a significant impact on society.    This announcement was made in a press conference in the presence of numerous local media outlets, members of the AUIS community, and distinguished guests from the Sulaimani business community who support similar activities in the region. AUIS President Dr. Bruce Ferguson warmly welcomed all the attendees and welcomed Sulaimani Governor Dr. Haval Abubakr, who delivered remarks and emphasized on the importance of this type of initiative.    AEIC Director Dr. Hemin Latif praised the new award, highlighting its goal to support innovation across the country. “For the first time in the region, an award will reward innovators for shaping our future and making our lives better. Innovators are often unrecognized,” he said. “The AIA program shines a light on outstanding achievements in all sectors and creates a platform for Iraqi innovators like never before.”   The AUIS Innovation Awards are made possible by the generous support of donors who include Qaiwan Group — an international company operating in Iraq and across the wider Middle East.   Daban Najmaddin, an AUIS alum and now the administrative coordinator at the Sulaimani Chamber of Commerce & Industry, also expressed his gratitude for this AUIS initiative in supporting more small business and entrepreneurs.   “The reason we, as the Sulaimani Chamber of Commerce & Industry, support this initiative is that we strive to see young entrepreneurs have their own businesses, and an organization like AUIS has been a bridge for those youth in guiding and supporting them in their businesses.”    He added, “I am sure this initiative will open new doors for so many entrepreneurs, and will be a path for them towards innovative business ideas, and AUIS is the right place to start from.”    Written by Ghazala Jango  
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