Omani innovator wins top prize at Geneva inventions show

Omani innovator wins top prize at Geneva inventions show

Muscat – Innovator Sumaiya bint Saeed al Siyabi has put the global spotlight on Oman’s buzzing innovation scene. She won the Grand Prix at the 49th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva on Friday, the highest distinction of the event presented to the most promising invention that addresses a global issue.

Started in 1972 by Jean-Luc Vincent, the International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva is the world’s largest annual event devoted exclusively to inventions and the licensing market. Each year, more than 825 exhibitors from 45 countries present their inventions, research and new products, ready to be marketed.

Another participant from Oman, Razan Hamad al Kalbani won the silver award.

“I am so happy and proud to represent my country. I have no words to describe the feeling,” said an emotional Sumaiya after receiving the award.

She informed that her innovation – called Ecosphere – addresses the environmental threat posed by microplastics through a novel integration of biology and nanotechnology.

Sumaiya added that her innovative project offers a promising solution to eliminate and dispose of microplastics in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Her floating sphere uses microbial mats and a catalyst to break down microplastics into carbon dioxide and water.

Designed to work in oceanic garbage patches, it targets and neutralises microplastics pollution.

Her innovation earlier won her top honours in Star of Science, a popular Qatari edutainment reality TV show.

Sumaiya bint Saeed al Siyabi (L) and Razan Hamad al Kalbani

For her part, Razan participated with a groundbreaking project – a paint designed to absorb X-rays using lycopene, a natural compound found in tomatoes, watermelon and other red fruits and vegetables. Her innovation, pioneering in its use of a natural substance for shielding against radiation, boasts a remarkable 97% absorption rate. It is also water and moisture resistant, 95% heat resistant and non-flammable, and prevents mould and bacteria growth.

Both Sumaiya and Razan expressed pride in  their achievements, the opportunity to represent the sultanate in the global forum, and the ability of Omani youth to innovate and compete globally, while highlighting the interest of other participants and fellow inventors from around the world. International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva is held in partnership with World Intellectual Property Organization. It aims to showcase and celebrate innovations that contribute to technological and economic advancements worldwide. The exhibition started April 17 and will conclude on April 21.

Peyman Taeidi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *