Drones for Good Award down to 16 semi-finalists

Hundreds of entries for the Drones for Good Award have been evaluated and 16 semi-finalists have been chosen.

The Drones for Good Award offers a $1 million prize to the winner of the international category. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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DUBAI // Hundreds of entries for the Drones for Good Award have been assessed and 16 semi-finalists have been chosen.

Three hundred applications were evaluated for the national category and only the best 16 applicants were selected to go on to the next stage of the competition.

The semi-finalists were chosen based on select criteria, including how innovative their idea was, how easily it could be implemented and how it could improve the quality of life for everyone living in the UAE.

The applications looked at various government sectors, such as civil defence and infrastructure, as well as environment, health, logistics and tourism. The applicants included students as well as individuals and private companies.

“The applications were unique as they met the real needs, introduced new concepts and processes that can link directly with the services sector in the UAE Government and improve the quality of life,” said Saif Al Alili, project manager for the award.

“The award gave the opportunity for national universities to play a greater role in the recruitment of potential students and innovators, a chance to create products and services designed to improve life, creating a real demand within the services sector.”

“It also provided an opportunity for those interested in modern technology to take their creations outside the walls of their laboratory, and consider the possibility of their application affecting people’s daily lives, no longer limiting that to government agencies, but extending it to include individuals and private institutions.”

The award was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai at the Government Summit last February. The award is dedicated to transforming these exciting technologies into practical solutions for improving people’s lives.

There are three categories for the award. One is for residents of the UAE, one for international applicants and one is reserved specially for employees of the UAE Government.

The Government category has already closed, but the international category is still open for applicants and comes with a US$1 million (Dh3.67m) prize.

The 16 semi-finalists must now submit a detailed technical proposal that must include a short video, a 2,000 to 5,000-word write-up describing the service, plans and schematics of how it will work, and the estimated cost.

The semi-finalists will be judged by a dedicated international technical committee, based on their assessment of the feasibility and technical aspects of the proposed service.

Full technical documentation must be uploaded to the competition website, www.dronesforgood.ae, by October 15.

Five finalists will be announced on November 1. They will then enter the third and final phase of the competition. The winner will be announced on December 14.