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  • Al Awar: “Our learners have once again shown their strengths as trustworthy and responsible leaders of tomorrow.”

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has earned a top place in the ‘Building the Change: Acting on Plastic Universities Competition’, an innovative initiative launched by Dubai Investments aimed at stimulating and employing innovation and creativity to promote wellbeing in society and protecting the environment in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

HBMSU came second among 19 most prestigious universities in the UAE for the distinguished contribution of its learners who conceptualized an integrated solution for managing and treating plastic waste at their universities and neighboring communities following the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) approach.
 
The jury widely praised the winning project of HBMSU learners in which they developed ‘PlastoFree50’, an extensive database in one app that cover plastic waste generators, including consumers, suppliers, and collectors. The learners developed the plan as a solution complementing a plastic ban policy at the Dubai Academic City.

H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, expressed his pride of the learners who demonstrated skillfulness and remarkable talents which led to impressive results, living up to the aspirations of the university for them as trustworthy and responsible leaders of tomorrow. He said: “Winning the ‘Building the Change: Acting on Plastic Universities Competition’ is testament to our firm commitment to support the UAE’s bid to promote environmental sustainability for future generations. We take inspiration from the wise directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU, and therefore we aim to create an educational environment that takes into account all aspects related to the environment, health, and wellbeing. This can be seen in our pioneering initiatives, particularly the ‘HBMSU Smart Building’. The facility is built on advanced systems with interactive, sustainable, creative features that guarantee a unique experience for learners, academics, and all occupants while contributing to the drive for environmental sustainability.”

Al Awar added: “We are honored to be in this competition with other nationally leading universities. This encourages the young generation to channel their creative energies to finding effective solutions to emerging challenges, especially plastic waste, using innovation and technology tools to improve wellbeing and environmental sustainability in the UAE. We congratulate the winning universities, extending our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Dubai Investments for organizing this pioneering initiative, which encourages the youth to fulfill their environmental, national and societal responsibilities, and contribute to building the future of the UAE.” 

Al Awar concluded: “We reaffirm our commitment to lead positive change and development and instill a culture of sustainability, innovation, technology and entrepreneurship to implement the directives of our wise leadership in ensuring the continuity of growth, prosperity and progress over the coming decades.”

HBMSU’s entry is selected after a rigorous evaluation process of 13 innovative projects submitted by more than 110 students from various universities in the UAE. The criteria and guidelines are divided into several categories to facilitate the evaluation process and emphasize the varying efforts of participants on different aspects of the projects. The evaluation process is allocates 40 per cent for creativity and strategic direction, 30 per cent for reasoning and credibility, and 30 per cent for stakeholder engagement, communication and inclusiveness. The winning projects are identified based on the highest scores achieved in each category.

‘Building the Change: Acting on Plastic Universities Competition’ is launched by Dubai Investments to inspire university students to become agents of change facing mounting environmental challenges with significant social impact. The initiative is in line with the UAE Vision 2021, which calls for eliminating waste across the UAE, notably plastic waste, and targets a reduction of landfill waste by 75 per cent by 2021. The winning projects are selected by a high-level jury that included representatives from Dubai Municipality, Dubai Investments, Imdaad, Bee'ah, and Responsible Business Group. The participating students showed a high level of excellence in developing promising projects and providing solutions that have practical applications beyond the framework of the competition.