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Emirates Islamic Launches "The Innovation Challenge" For University Students In The UAE

Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the UAE, today announced the launch of “The Innovation Challenge,” a competition that calls on students at leading UAE universities to devise new social media solutions that are feasible andcan be implemented to make a significant contribution to the world of banking. An inter-university competition, the “Innovation Challenge” provides a platform forqualifying teams representing their universities to battle it out for the “Innovation Champion” title.

Teams of six students were required to register their interest in participating in this competition ahead of alaunch meeting at Emirates Islamic’s Head Office. Ten student teams participating in the competition are expected to present social media innovations that will help simplify and further enhance the world of banking.

Working with mentors from their faculties and from the bank, the teams will develop new means of using the existing social media channels to improve Emirates Islamic’s customer database within key demographics at the same time as strengthening the brand through greater advocacy. They will also be tasked with how to improve the bank’s cross-sell opportunities and how to use social media to attract and retain new talent.

Universities including Heriot Watt University, American University of Sharjah, SP Jain, BITS Pilani – Dubai, University of Wollongong and Middlesex University, have registered teams for these challenges. Following the first meeting with the bank and faculty mentors, the teams will work towards submitting final proposals by December5th,2013.

These submissions will be reviewed and a short list of participants will be invited to present their proposals to Jamal Bin Ghalaita, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Islamic on December11th, 2013. The winning entries will be announced at an awards ceremony held on December23rd, 2013 where they will be presented with a Medal of Accomplishment and Certificate, in addition to a cash prize and internship at Emirates Islamic. The winning team’s university will also receive a token contribution from the bank, while all participants will receive a Certificate of Participation for their efforts and a token of appreciation for the students.

Commenting on this initiative, Bin Ghalaita stated: “Our commitment to bring the best solutions to our customers means that innovation is always at the core of our offering.Social media is rapidly and continuously evolving and who else to teach us about these new channels other than the youth.Through this competition, we are reaching out to the young people in the community to source innovative projects that will enable us to maximise the opportunities presented by social media channels.”

He continued; “By reaching out to teams of highly motivated and talented students from the best universities in our country, we hope to tap into the new wave of thinking and development in this very important space. We hope to see completely new ideas through the fresh perspective of these teams. I am confident that we will not be disappointed and I wish all those teams taking part in our competition the very best of luck”.

Each submission will be judged by Emirates Islamic’s Innovation Team which consists of industry experts and technology practitioners. The submissions will be assessed on the business case(s) submitted and the team’s final presentation.In assessing the submissions, the team will focus on four main areas; finance, innovation, practicality and quality of submission.

The challenge is open to undergraduate students in the UAE. Each team is expected to submit a project, which must comply with the original theme, has the potential for application in industry, is innovative and compliant to regulatory, Sharia’h and economic practices.

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