Lebanon’s Fouad Maksoud has won the 9th season of Stars of Science, the long-running reality TV show where aspiring entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa compete to develop innovative inventions.
The 25-year-old Maksoud developed a textiles machine that uses nanotechnology, which netted him the top honor and a $300,000 prize. His invention can be used for a variety of purposes, from making clothing waterproof to integrating medicine into the fibers of bandages.
“If you’re sitting at home with a brilliant idea, my message to you is: ‘Action is the only antidote when it comes to innovation, achieving goals and solving problems. It’s up to young people like you and me to serve and improve lives of the communities we live in,” said Maksoud.
The latest season of Stars of Science culminated with a broadcast from Oman, where Maksoud and three other finalists had their inventions judged by viewers at home and a panel of expert jurors.
Viewers at home cast their votes online, the results of which were combined with input from jurors. Maksoud received 43% of the vote, enough to win the top prize.
The second place finisher was Kuwait’s Ahmad Nabeel, who invented an automated, self-cleaning surgical instrument, for which he took home $150,000. In third was Saudi’s Meshal Alshahrani, who developed a Hajj navigation bracelet. He won $100,000. In fourth came Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Jefairi, who developed a device to help teach sign language to children. He received $50,000.
Throughout the season, nine contestants were challenged to develop creative solutions to regional problems in areas including computing and information technology, energy, environment and health. Along the way, the panel of jurors assessed and eliminated candidates until only the four remained.
Last season’s winner was Jordan’s Sadeem Qdaisat, who developed a method of improving the quality of genetic testing for cancer and other diseases.