The innovation competition that could change the Middle East

The Aviram Family Foundation and Forbes have launched a first of its kind competition named the “Aviram Awards — Tech for Humanity” which is offering a first prize of $500,000. Registration closes next week

Maayan Manela 09:0302.12.21
A chemical solution for plastic recycling, the production of drinking water from seawater with solar energy and a robot that dispels loneliness among the elderly - these are just some of the ideas competing at the “Aviram Awards - Tech for Humanity” competition being organized by The Aviram Family Foundation and Forbes. The event aims to uncover reality-changing projects in the Middle East and North Africa, with registration to end next week on December 10.


Dozens of entrepreneurs have already registered for this unique event, which is open to innovators from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Ziv Aviram. Photo: Ohad Romano Ziv Aviram. Photo: Ohad Romano


Submissions for the Aviram Awards are encouraged from across the region, with 15 projects to be initially selected to take part in a professional seminar in which they will present their ideas. Five finalists will then be selected from a virtual pitch event, before having the opportunity to present to judges in-person at the ceremony hosted by Forbes and the Aviram Family Foundation in Dubai in March 2022. The event will bring together the most talented and inspirational entrepreneurs from the region on the same stage, for the first time. Entries will be judged by ambassadors from Middle Eastern and North African countries including top leaders and industry pioneers across entrepreneurship, technology, academia and more.


Among the projects to have already registered is a team developing a chemical solution that will return plastic waste back into its original form and thus make it possible to recycle the raw material, reducing pollution and promoting a sustainable economy. Another project aims to produce drinking water from seawater through solar energy, without fuel or electricity, with another applicant presenting a robot that communicates with the eldery in order to dispel their loneliness and help them deal with anxiety, stress and sleeping disorders.


“Following many years of work, I have discovered the tremendous impact of combining business and technology with doing good,” said Ziv Aviram, Entrepreneur and Founder of the Aviram Family Foundation, and the co-founder of Mobileye and OrCam. “We established the Aviram Family Foundation to harness these forces, for a real impact on the reality of people in Israel and the region. In the past year, we received an unprecedented opportunity - to connect Israel and the countries of the Middle East through joint action in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation. I am excited to start this journey with my family and to locate the next venture that will make a big contribution to humanity and to the realities of our life in Israel and the Middle East.”


“Israel is already a global hotbed for innovation, but there is still untapped potential in the sector across the rest of the Middle East that is only waiting to be uncovered and nurtured,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer and Editor at Forbes. “At Forbes, we have a long history of celebrating the power of entrepreneurship to solve some of society and the environment’s biggest challenges, so we are really excited to be partnering with the Aviram Family Foundation to spotlight a new generation of start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa.”


The winning project, which at its essence will be its contribution to humanity, will receive a $500,000 prize and expert mentoring, including from Ziv Aviram and Forbes, the world’s leading financial magazine. The project to finish in second place will receive a $100,000 prize, with the third-place finisher to be awarded $50,000.


Aviram Awards - Tech For Humanity is the first initiative launched by the Aviram Family Foundation, founded by Ziv Aviram, the co-founder of world-changing solutions Mobileye and OrCam – and his family. The Aviram family’s mission is to combine cutting-edge innovation and technology with social responsibility and positive action to impact the lives of millions for the better.


Entrepreneurs are invited to register until December 10, 2021 at the competition's website.