Stars of Science, the Arab world’s popular ‘edutainment’ reality show developed by Qatar Foundation, showcased Season 8 – aiming to create solutions for the region with innovative ideas related to the energy and environment spheres.

Shortlisted innovators, however, cannot breathe a sigh of relief just yet as they need to await judgement in this Saturday’s Majlis episode on 8 October at 10:30 pm KSA (7:30 pm GMT) to see who is invited to continue the journey.

Arab innovators from across the Middle East arrived at the Stars of Science studio in Doha dreaming of being crowned the Stars of Science winner in November in front of millions. But first, each was challenged to convince a jury of experts to give them a chance at glory.

Aysha Al Mudahka, a Qatari catalyst with a keen eye for up-and-coming entrepreneurs joined Professor Fouad Mrad for a third week in her role as a permeant Juror. Currently the CEO of the Qatar Business Incubation Center, she is widely regarded as one of the most influential people in the Middle East’ entrepreneurship ecosystem. Rounding out the trio of jurors was Dr Hosni Ghedira, a passionate environmentalist who holds a PhD in Water Science from the University of Quebec, with over 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Dr Ghedira currently serves as Professor of Practice and Director of the Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment (ReCREMA) at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi.

Aysha Al Mudahka said:

Our mission is clear – to find young Arab innovators with the skill, knowledge and spirit necessary to make a true difference with his or her idea. Stars of Science, guided by Qatar Foundation, has been a driver of science and technology entrepreneurship in the region since Season 1 in 2009.’

The three jury members had their hands full, judging the strengths and weaknesses of a diverse range of inventions. The episode featured innovators whose devices proposed to solve problems in the energy and environment realm by utilising technology in a creative and novel way. Some inventions focused on solar energy and wind power solutions, while others aimed to address problems like air pollution and waste management. Professor Mrad was keen to remind candidates that in science, unlike other disciplines, there are right and wrong ways to solve a problem.

19 Candidates from the first three casting episodes have now successfully triumphed over the competition for a spot in the Majlis episode. Their next challenge is to be chosen as one of only nine candidates to be invited to develop their inventions with the help of the experts who will all work from the Stars of Science laboratories in Qatar Science & Technology Park.

Candidates will compete in small groups to advance from the prototyping stages to the customer validation rounds, where they will work tirelessly on developing their idea from prototype to fully-fledged product.

At the season finale, four final candidates left standing will receive a share of US$600,000 in seed funding for their ideas. The winner will be chosen via a public and jury vote, and will be known across the region as the Arab world’s most promising young innovator.

Applications for season 9 are now open for Arab nationals between the ages of 18–35. Please visit starsofscience.com for more details.