By : Saber Mohamed
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt launched the Open Innovation Challenge for Persons with Disabilities in partnership with Nile University, the NilePreneurs Initiative, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) and the Project Nitrous, and under the joint cooperation with the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development- the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development’s training arm and a Business Incubator of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science.
The Assistive Technology Incubation Programme was launched through a call for submissions, opening the door for registrations and calling on Egyptian companies to submit their prototypes of proposed assistive technologies falling under 4 work areas: Access to Public Places and Transportation, Inclusive Education, Inclusive Employment and Health and Early Medical Intervention. A number of these solutions will be selected to qualify for the next stage and selecting 4 companies as winners. The winning companies will have their proposed assistive technologies incubated for 6 months to turn their prototypes into products that can be available on the market and produced commercially.
UNDP will provide financial support, amounting up to 175,000EGP to each of the winning incubated companies. Partners will provide technical support, guidance, and provide the equipment and materials needed for fabrication at a total value cost of up to 100,000 EGP per company through providing experts, mentors, facilitators in addition to innovation and fabrication labs.
The Incubation Programme will also provide additional training to support and empower women and entrepreneurs with disabilities, and to ensure equal opportunities for all. In addition, the Programme will provide technical support to the participating companies in Alexandria through the headquarters of AASTMT and in Fayoum and Sohag Governorates through Project Nitros units. To encourage female entrepreneurs in the communications and information technology sector, one of the four winning companies must be a company founded or headed by a woman.
The Assistive Technology Incubation Programme is part of the "Assistive Technologies and Digital Tools for Better Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities" project activities of the UNDP in Egypt. This programme was launched last December at the footsteps of the Giza pyramids through Egypt's Walk for Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities, with the participation and under the auspices of the Ministers of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Ministry of Social Solidarity as well as the Egyptian Sports Federation for Mental Disabilities and UNDP’s Regional Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Michael Haddad.
You can apply now to participate in the Assistive Technologies Incubation Programme: http://bit.ly/ATOIC21