Abu Dhabi

The Special Olympics is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event and global movement that focuses on the empowerment of people of determination with intellectual abilities.

In an effort to forge a legacy beyond the games and harness the power of technology to drive an inclusive future, EY is working with the Special Olympics Abu Dhabi committee to facilitate the Special Olympics Innovation Challenge in partnership with a number of government entities. The goal of the Innovation Challenge is to find deployable solutions to the challenges people of determination face across five areas: Health, Education, Transport, Community and Sports. During a collaborative workshop with a diverse group of 60+ stakeholders including people with physical and intellectual disabilities as well as government and private sector representatives, 11 Challenges people of determination face were identified. These 11 Challenges were then launched on the innovation platform EY CogniStreamer. From 180+ solution submissions, 12 shortlisted startups, from 11 different countries representing 5 continents, were invited to Abu Dhabi to showcase their solutions during the Special Olympics World Games 2019. On the last day of the showcasing, the top 5 solutions will each be awarded a prize of $30,000. His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Head of the Department of Community Development - Abu Dhabi, honored the winners of the "Innovation Challenge" initiative; an event of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. "Today, we honor the winners of the Innovation Challenge”, said Dr. Al Khaili. “The Department of Community Development co-sponsors this Challenge as part of its role in supporting initiatives and projects promoting the inclusion of people of determination in society. The Department also supported these projects by inviting investors and companies to overview these projects and discuss the possibility of transforming them into reality. He also praised the great role played by the major global partners in sponsoring this challenge, which is categorized primarily as a challenge to the minds and the strong wills. The Head of the Department of Community Development further appreciated the efforts of the Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 by launching the " Innovation Challenge" initiative, which firmly-rooted Abu Dhabi as a major destination for innovators in the country and world-wide; stressing that the Department’s role towards the development of people of determination, is at the heart of its work, and at the top of its priorities. Moreover, Dr. Al Khaili pointed out that developed societies are measured by their own members, and that the sustainability of development and progress can not be complete without investing in the human capital.

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