Idea Competition

Increasing Mobility for People with Handicaps

Competition & Construction Workshop

For people with permanent or temporary mobility limitations something as apparently simple as getting in and out of the bath, bed, toilet or car, would require the constant physical assistance of a person, for example by a family member, nurse, and/or care provider. This manual lifting act is dangerous for all the people involved, leading to back pain or other injuries for the patient and the care provider. In addition, the privacy of the affected individual is often compromised, leading to embarrassment and discomfort for the person in need of care. Mobility hoists or mobile patient lifts have been designed as a fantastic aid for assisting with the care of a limited-mobility person. They can be handled by one person safely. As such devices are often unwieldy, carrying the mobile patient lift in addition to the wheelchair is difficult when leaving home. Therefore, the social and even the professional life of the disabled individual are compromised as he/she is deprived from travels, having holidays, and attending training courses and seminars.

AGYA member Dr. Lilia Romdhane realises the competition in cooperation with AGYA alumnus Dr. Tobias Redlich and in collaboration with Ecole Supérieure Privée d’Ingénierie et de Technologies (ESPRIT) in Tunisia.

The Phase I Online Seminar of the InnovationH Competition took place on 02-03 October 2020. Followed by an international call in Germany and the Arab world, a selection committee with members from Tunisia and Germany reviewed the applications of candidates. Nine projects with participants from Algeria, Palestine, and Tunisia were chosen as most promising and finally invited to take part in this event.

During the Phase I event, the candidates interacted online with German and Tunisian scientists and experts in the field of engineering design, genetics, bioenginieering, electromechanics, and business development as well as people with special needs. For example, Khadija Jallouli, a start-up entrepreneur and handicapped women shared her experience of designing an adaptive car for people in a wheel chair.

Before the candidates pitched their ideas and concepts of their mobile lifting solution, they were also trained by Dr. Jihen Rezgui (ESPRIT) and Dr. Moncef Ghiss (ENISo) on how to pitch a project and how to program engineering solutions with 3D-CAD-programs, respectively.

After the successful pitch of ideas and concepts, the selection committee invited the best four project ideas to the Phase II Fabrication Workshop and the laboratories of ESPRIT to manufacture a prototype of their ideas in 2021.

Here are the finalist candidates and teams:

  • Dr. Mohammad Abuabiah, Husam Zaidan, and Adel Al-Haj (Palestine)
  • Houssem Eddine Karkri (Tunisia)
  • Omar Khemiri (Tunisia)
  • Rania Snene (Tunisia)

The project leader Dr. Mohammad Abuabiah from the Palestine finalist team commented on the InnovationH Competition:

"We had our hopes about the competition, but hearing our name being announced by Dr. Lilia Romdhane was truly magical. Winning the first evaluation-phase and to be nominated with other three teams from Tunisia, and as the only team from Palestine, meant a lot - not just for us attending the online event, but our whole team as well. Our University (An-Najah National University) which served as a basis for our project idea was delighted. We thank the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) for supporting this nice competition. Hopefully, we can meet in Tunisia in 2021, and we will try our best to be ready for the final competition."


Abstract graphic with a wheelchair


Cooperation Partner
Ecole Supérieure Privée d’Ingénierie et de Technologies (ESPRIT), Tunisia
02-03 October 2020
Project Title
InnovationH Competition: Increasing Mobility for People with Handicaps
Funding Scheme
Idea Competition
Countries Involved
Germany, Tunisia