STEAM Innovation Challenges

STEAM Overview

The STEAM Innovation Challenge is an exclusive intensive ideation program for university students offered by KAUST in partnership with Saudi universities, large companies and non-profit organizations. The program is designed have students engage in mixed interdisciplinary teams to create innovative concepts that solve particular challenges. By partnering with the student population inside of KAUST and through selected nearby Saudi universities, the STEAM Innovation Challenge offers a unique opportunity to showcase and support Saudi student-led innovation.

STEAM Challenges

Previous STEAM Innovation Challenges have included:

  • Reimagining Education for the Digital Age.
  • Living Spaces: How can we drive creation and adoption of sustainable buildings for people?
  • A Better World: Driving Innovations into People’s Lives
  • Energy: How do we embed new sustainable energy systems in the Kingdom and the region?

Over 500 students from Saudi universities have participated in STEAM events to date including those from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), King Abdul-Aziz University, the University of Business and Technology, University of Jeddah, Effat University, Umm al-Qura University, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences and Dar AL-Hekma University.

These programs can be delivered over one, two or three days with previous partners including Dow Chemical and Islamic Development Bank or in parallel with major events such as the Innovation to Impact Roundtable at KAUST.

  • Impact the lives of people by creating solutions to real world problems
  • Learn and live the principles of ideation, value proposition and design thinking
  • Connect with experts from our partner organization as well as the Entrepreneurship Center
  • Meet and collaborate with students from different Saudi universities
  • Learn team building and collaboration

The student teams pitch on the final afternoon in front of a panel of judges, with awards given out to the top three teams.

Crafting a Solution

The objectives of the STEAM challenge is to come up with a proposed solution:

  • That offers a solution for some or all of the overall innovation theme
  • Is realistic while also being innovative
  • Where the value proposition of the solution can be clearly defined, articulated and communicated in the pitches that take place on afternoon
  • Can specifically reference how the solution can be delivered with specific reference to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but can also suggest how it might be scaled or implemented in other countries.