• About the Award
  • Award Manual

Today, developed and developing economies promote innovation to achieve eventual economic and social development. It is now also implicit that innovation is taking place in all domains of the economy, in not only high-tech companies and technology sectors. As a result, economies are firmly centering their attention on the creation and upkeep of sound and dynamic innovation ecosystems and networks.

 Jordan is ranked 86th among 129 countries in 2019 according to the Global Innovation Index (GII), with 16% improvement from 2016 meeting the expected level of development. The country can make use of its main resource (well-educated individuals) and its fast growing, vibrant and diverse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem to attain major national social and economic development.

 Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF) identifies innovation as one of its three pillars; aims to participate in driving the engine of innovation led growth by spreading a culture of innovation across sectors with pressing needs, and creates an environment where innovators and entrepreneurs are given opportunities and necessary support to develop viable impact-driven innovations.

 Aligned with its strategic objectives and continued efforts in supporting innovation; Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF) proudly launches the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation Innovation Award (AHSF-IA) – 2nd edition in response for COVID-19.

  • Scope & Strategic Objectives of the Award 

The COVID-19 pandemic developed as a health crisis, moved on to becoming an economic concern. The current setting has particularly affected the VC ecosystem, startups and; small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Indeed, startups, small and medium size businesses are at the front line of the battle, with the consequences being especially severe for them, due to higher levels of vulnerability and limited resources.

The new reality is sure to spark innovations and pivot many business models to respond to today’s changing environment in a timely manner. For innovative and agile businesses to come back after the pandemic falls, and once again serve as an engine of innovation ecosystem, it is vital to support their way forward.

The objective of the second iteration of AHSF-IA is to support ideation, concept validation and enable scaling and growth of Jordanian innovations with significant social impact and adaptive to the permanent change caused by COVID-19 in the highly disrupted fields and sectors.

Award Fields

The award targets innovative solutions with significant social impact, responsive and high potential to scale in the following six fields. AHSF-IA is specific to these fields and all applications shall be categorized in the following themes to be grouped for accurate evaluation process

 1- Healthcare and Biomedical Technology

Healthcare systems were the distinguishable element among all other systems in facing COVID-19. Now all countries will start fixing their public health, look for possible treatment, design new testing methods, manufacture equipment, optimize operating systems and enhancing health conditions. In addition, a common factor in epidemics is the high number of patients who arrive at hospitals all at the same time. Coping with these rising needs and maintaining a resilient healthcare system will need new solutions and innovations in all sub-sectors.

2- Labor Market and Economic Productivity Solutions

The world labor markets have been turned upside down since the rapid outbreak of COVID-19. The unemployment rates are worse than ever and economic decline is visible across all industries. Companies are struggling to figure out how to handle an extreme decline in business activities while maintaining their qualified workers.

Looking forward, economic impact of COVID-19 will be the concern, and coming up with sustainable, vital and impactful solutions and innovations to accelerate the economic and employment activities is crucial. 

 3- Education Solutions

Many countries around the world have seen schools and educational institutions go into lockdown at around the same time and for the same reason. Coronavirus-related disruption gave governments and educators the opportunity to rethink the sector. Technology has stepped in and will continue to play a key role in educating future generations. Innovations with the ability to improve the educational system to be significant in redefining the role of educators, unlock technology to deliver better education and teach future-needed skills or any relevant objective.

 4- Agriculture

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced countries to close borders, many agricultural sectors confronted major challenges. The pandemic is affecting global food systems, disrupting regional agricultural value chains, and posing risks to household food security. With heightened awareness of food safety for producers, businesses, governments and consumers, innovative solutions associated with agriculture and food security are welcomed to apply to this field. 

5- Culture and Arts

COVID-19 had a sudden and substantial impact on cultural and art scene referring to preventing live concerts, cultural events, publishing, and closure of libraries, museums and galleries. The increasingly available digital platforms and innovative solutions minimized the challenge a bit. Yet, creative solutions contributing to our wellbeing, serenity, inspiration, intellectual stimulation and resilience are key to long-term desired impact.

 6- Green Technology and Environmental Sustainability

While the green technology and environmental sustainability is the least affected sector among others. Its high potential of creating positive economic impact by investing in green technology and environmental sustainable and innovative solutions could generate huge economic benefits while helping to tackle the global climate emergency. 

- Award Stages

Applicants with pioneering solutions to problems can apply at one of the three stages described below:

Stage 1: Proof of Concept and Prototyping (prelaunch)

This stage is dedicated to supporting the development of a working prototype and/or proof of concept.

Stage 2: Go-to-Market - Product Development, validation and MVP - (pre/post launch)

This stage is dedicated to supporting the development, testing and validation of the fully developed product/solution for market entry and startup launch.

Stage 3: Growth (post launch)

This stage is dedicated to supporting the growth and scale up of proven solutions/innovations that have achieved market validation and impact, and are financially sustainable and scalable. This may include expanding innovations or assessing ways to drive cost-effectiveness as the scale continues to increase.