20 student visionaries from across GCC take up 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge

February 23, 2014 10:30 am

Twenty students, who from 10 different teams from various universities across the UAE, Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ‘KSA’, are competing for the winning place for the GCC semi-final of 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge ‘HIC’, an international competition involving students that takes innovation to a totally new level.

HIC 7 GCC Semi-Final 2014, to be held on February 25th, 2014 at Le Royal Meridien Spa & Beach Resort in Dubai, UAE, will involve the teams presenting their visionary ideas and concepts for new Henkel products and technologies.

The jury members for the semi-final are Erdem Kocak, CFO Henkel MEA & President Henkel GCC, Nikolai Lihotzky, Head of HR, Henkel MEA, Ramy Bermawy, General Manager-Beauty Care, Henkel GCC, Olivier Mercien-Ferol, Country Chairman Adhesive Technologies, Henkel GCC and Asaad Al Asaad, Career Services Manager at Al Yamamah University in KSA.

The students are supposed to conceptualize ideas focused on developing a visionary product or new technology for one of the three Henkel business sectors – Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care or Adhesive Technologies in 2050 and triple the value they create by promoting sustainable development. Until the semi-final, the students will be under the mentorship of business managers from different business units. A victory at this stage of the competition immediately qualifies the winners for the international finals, to be held from March 31 to April 2, 2014 at the Henkel headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany, the home country of last year’s winners.

The three winning teams will meet the Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted and receive an additional monetary prize: the winning team will get an around-the-world ticket worth 10,000 Euros, the second place will be awarded 4,000 Euros and the third place 2,000 Euros. The winners will go to Dusseldorf under the mentorship of Ramy Bermawy.

Nikolai Lihotzky, Head of HR- Henkel MEA, said, “Our vision at Henkel is to be a global leader in brands and technologies. Driving innovation is one of our core competencies and through Henkel Innovation Challenge, we offer students the possibility to translate theoretical knowledge into practice and gain a business experience. We are excited about this year’s HIC 7 GCC semi-final and to witness the new ideas that the students will bring along.”

Students from 30 countries have been part of this year’s challenge. These include teams from twelve European countries, nine nations in the Asia-Pacific region, three Latin American countries, the USA and five countries in the MEA region.

Taking place for the seventh time, the Henkel Innovation Challenge enables students from a wide variety of disciplines, including economics, engineering and natural sciences, to adopt the role of creative, sustainability-aware business development managers.