April 26, 2018, Cairo – Winners of the Research and Creativity Convention (RCC) were announced at the closing ceremony of the four-day convention organized by The American University in Cairo (AUC) to celebrate excellence in University research, entrepreneurship and creative achievement. Three teams of students who presented their work at the Entrepreneurship Expo, as part of the Creatopia event won monetary prizes sponsored by Redcon Construction Company. AUC’s Department of Management at The School of Business won an Award for the Disciplines – a $25,000 grant for a Department that has a strong infrastructure for Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and that creates multiple opportunities for student achievement, interdisciplinarity and community engagement.“We are proud of our students and faculty who have participated and presented their latest research and ideas in the Research and Creativity Convention. This year, we had 194 participants across the different activities,” said Alaa Adris, Associate Provost for Research, Innovation and Creativity. “RCC has brought together diverse research activities and creative endeavors that have demonstrated growth and success over the years, in an effort to enhance knowledge-sharing, interdisciplinarity and sponsorship for ambitions and dreams.”
Students Hashem Ahmed Abdel Moneim, majoring in management of information and communication technology, Abdel Rahman Soliman, majoring in computer science, and Amr Helmy, majoring in business, won first place in the Entrepreneurship Expo with their online platform Tivity, which provides a gateway to all fitness and activity classes in Egypt filling the gap between fitness providers. “We are very happy with the award and we will use the monetary award wisely to launch our platform,” said Abdel Moneim, who co-founded the application with Soliman. “We plan to launch the application within the University soon to showcase the activities of the Sports Complex,” he added.
In second place came InnovationHub, an online platform connecting entrepreneurs, investors and mentors in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, created by students Abdelrahman Farid, Haidi Halim, Mariam Sultan, Ahmed Shaarawy and Abdulrahmaan Sameh Ahmed.
In third place came Royal Living, a company that specializes in creating virtually furnished homes so that customers can easily imagine what their house could potentially look like before purchase, created by students Ayten Ismail, David Boles, Barbra Taher and Maya El Gamal.
Nellie El Enany, assistant professor of organization studies, Department of Management, The School of Business, said: “The entrepreneurship expo is a quintessential example of creativity and innovation reflecting the joint effort of departments, students and faculty and made up a range of students from engineering, economics, accounting and a range of backgrounds in business administration.”
The event celebrated faculty, graduate and undergraduate research as well as creative achievements in all fields at AUC. Amani Elshimi, director of undergraduate research, and member of the convention organizing committee, remarked that, “there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing students proudly present their research and creative work. This is the ultimate learning outcome – to create independent, competent scholars who identify gaps in knowledge, design sound methods of inquiry, analyze their data, question assumptions, and arrive at original interpretations and contributions to the disciplines. All courses in the university should be research and creativity-centered.”
At the closing ceremony, three panelists, Amr Shaarawi, professor of physics and chair of the University Senate, Alaa-Eldin Adris, associate provost for research, innovation and creativity and Hoda Mostafa, director of Center for Learning and Teaching discussed, “celebrating failure”. The panelists focused on the need to discuss failures in academic life and highlighted different stories of failure that helped shape their future and pave their way to success in their academic path. They also explained how successful individuals can start embracing risk after achieving a reasonable level of comfort with failure. Adris highlighted that this year, one of the convention’s milestones is starting to recognize failures and mistakes as means of effective experiential learning.
Sir Magdy Yacoub, cardiothoracic surgeon and founder of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation inaugurated the opening ceremony discussing Creativity: An Illusive Target. As part of the RCC lectures, Keynote speaker Khaled Habib, a broadcaster and business professional, shared with students the main obstacles that hinder success and motivation as key to advancement in their future. Mervat Abou Oaf, rofessor of practice, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, was also a guest speaker, focusing on student citizenship and community education to make a difference.
This year’s activities included, a Design Thinking Teaser, Creatopia – The Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exhibition, The Academy of Liberal Arts Symposium, EURECA – The Excellence in University Research, Entrepreneurship and Creative Achievement Conference, FYRE! First Year Research Experience Panels, and ELI Explorers Session.