The Transformers Science & Innovation Competition: Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Winners receive US$3,000 grants to further their STI initiatives that improve global development.


The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has awarded four exciting innovators $3,000 each, as part of its fourth edition of the Transformers Roadshow competition in which applicants are invited to pitch ideas accelerating one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Members of the Government of Uzbekistan, honourable guests and the competition participants, joined Dr. Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to the President of the Islamic Development Bank at the International Trade Centre, Tashkent. The competition attracted entrepreneurs and scientists across Uzbekistan showcasing innovative projects in e-learning, water purification and agricultural solutions among others. The initiatives were assessed in line with the SDGs agenda across factors such as innovativeness, impact & outreach, practicality, scalability, sustainability, potential for patenting and commercialisation.

Commenting on the quality of applications and interest in STI-led projects, Dr Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to the President, Islamic Development Bank said: “I am delighted to see so many fantastic innovators here today in Uzbekistan. I would also like to show my gratitude to H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank for putting STI at the heart of the IsDB’s strategy to tackle global development issues.  Through the Transform Fund, our dream is to support science, technology and innovation-led solutions designed by local entrepreneurs and innovators who understand their communities.”

Winners of the competition were awarded US$3,000 and an invitation to attend the 2019 IsDB Transformers Summit in Senegal. The winners were:

  1. Zafar Iskandarov, for a project to improve water purification
  2. Shahlo Miralimova, for a project to improve probiotics production
  3. Gulistan Orazimbetov, for a project to increase efficiency of the use of raw materials in cement production

A special award – the ‘Transformers Potential Project Award’ – was also presented to Khilola To’khtamurova, who is improving opportunities for children with Down Syndrome in Uzbekistan.

Teams presented their ideas to an esteemed judging panel from public and private sectors including:

  • Dr Hayat Sindi, Chief STI advisor to the President of the IsDB
  • Shahlo Turdikulova, Director, Minister of Innovative Development, Government of Uzbekistan
  • Dr Fil Randazzo, CEO and Founder, Leverage Science
  • Lars Kroijer, Founder, Allied Crowds

After announcing the winners, Dr Hayat Sindi remarked that “I am proud that the IsDB continue to share important scientific knowledge so local communities can build their own capabilities and create a sustainable future. We (at the IsDB) recognise that Uzbekistan needs more than just grant funding, it needs innovative solutions to provide more sustainable and inclusive growth.”

Launched in July 2018, the Transformers Roadshow is one of the initiatives led by the IsDB Transform Fund set up to support the IsDB’s strategic focus on capacity building and human capital development. Previous editions took place in Niger, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh, where the Bank has awarded nine innovators.  The IsDB mission via the Transform Fund is to equip people to drive their own economic and social progress at scale, putting the infrastructure in place to enable them to fulfil their potential.

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