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Bahrain gets even more inventive

Bahrain has a passion for innovation: we invest hugely in technology and initiatives to promote great ideas at all levels, from university to government. As you’ll see from this quick round-up of recent successes, we do exceptionally well.
It is worth noting that Bahrain’s Higher Education Council (HEC) plays an important part in driving higher education and research, and has recently announced ten-year national strategies for both areas. Click for more information >
Butterfly mixes the perfect colour
Bahrain’s two-woman team of Alla’ Abdulraheem and Marwa Bu-Haila took third place in the Innovation category of the ImagineCup, Microsoft’s global student technology competition held 30 July-2 August 2014 at Washington University, Seattle, USA. Butterfly, their hardware and software combination, makes it possible to create and mix custom nail polish colours and finishes in quantities for one-off application.
The Butterfly team were already the ImagineCup pan-Arab champions and first from Bahrain to reach such a high position in the global awards. You can see a video about their entry here.
Commenting on the award, HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board said:
“Bahrain has long been a country that has valued entrepreneurship and innovative thinking, as evidenced by the directives to support young people in the Kingdom by His Royal Highness, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the EDB. We are proud of the fact that our youth are able to participate in events such as this, which are on a global scale, and showcase their true skill and talent. We value education, and we value creativity, and it is these ideals that help us develop a generation of innovators, who will grow to be leaders in their fields, and will help place Bahrain on the global map of innovation.”
Start a business in a weekend
Budding entrepreneurs were able to learn the basics of founding a business at a Startup Weekend in Manama, 21-22 November.
Startup Weekends, run by a non-profit organisation, take place in around 120 countries. Anyone can ‘pitch’ their idea. Teams then come together to develop the top-rated ideas over the next 54 hours and present finished plans to local business leaders for expert comment.
Nano-coating creates 9% more solar energy
Dust is a perennial problem in a desert climate like Bahrain. Solar panels need a lot of maintenance to keep them dust-free and working at maximum capacity.
No longer, perhaps. The University of Bahrain (UoB) has been testing solar panels with a protective coating called HPi, developed by Bahrain-based consultant Terry Bevan and his company, nanotechnology multinational Nanolia.
Over six months of testing, HPi-coated panels produced 9% more energy than standard factory-treated panels when exposed to dust. Applied to an installation like BAPCO (Bahrain Petroleum Company) they could theoretically generate US $1.3 million of extra energy a year. Watch this space for further developments.
Bahrain first in the Middle East for eGovernment
Bahrain was the only Middle East state to be recognised among the top 20 countries by the United Nations at the 2014 Global eGovernment Forum held recently in Kazakhstan. The Kingdom ranked ahead of many European and Asian countries, and joins Japan and Spain in making outstanding progress in eGovernment.
Major projects such as the National Suggestions and Complaints System (Tawasul), Zajel and eKey helped Bahrain achieve the UN recognition, which is given to countries that upgrade their eGovernment portals and IT and consolidate them into a single online presence with maximum benefit to citizens.
Receiving the award, eGovernment Authority Vice-CEO Dr. Zakareya Ahmed Al-Khaja commented that this recognition proves to be extremely valuable, as Bahrain has climbed to eighteenth position out of 193 countries worldwide.