as significant positive change.

we celebrate the exchange of ideas,
outstanding achievement and future
influencers in society.

welcome to the audi innovation award.


The Audi Innovation Award is a competition for design research
and the highlighting of innovative ideas.

The purpose of the prize is to act as a design and technology industry motivator in the GCC and Levant regions. The theme of the competition is Autonomy.

The competition seeks to empower regional designers while archiving annual intellectual progress. The award acts as a mark of outstanding achievement, celebrating the exchange of ideas, investing in the collective by empowering a future family of change makers.


The theme for Audi Innovation Award is 'Autonomy'.

The Award recognises innovative design solutions capable of regulating themselves, according to changing environmental circumstances and different user specifications, with minimal human intervention.

By eliminating the need for constant user control, maintenance and support, these solutions improve the quality and precision of our daily lives.

The competition celebrates both physical and virtual design solutions and innovations that enhance mobility, preserve health and safety, encourage sustainability and maximize infrastructure.


  1. May 1st

    Submissions Open

  2. September 17th

    Submissions close


The submissions will be judged based on Degree of innovation, Appearance, Impact, Emotional content and Environmental impact.

Mitra Khoubrou. Co-founder of Dubai based Pink Tank with extensive involvement in economic and cultural issues throughout the Middle East. Mitra Khoubrou co-founded Pink Tank in 2008. At Pink Tank, she concentrates on the development of research and strategic alliances in the Gulf region. Her responsibilities include strategic insight and advisory services, content development and project management.

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Salem Al-Qassimi is a designer, entrepreneur, and an Assistant Professor of Design at the American University of Sharjah. He earned an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), during which he also served as a teaching assistant and instructor. Al-Qassimi founded Fikra Design Studio in 2006 — an award-winning multidisciplinary design studio. Fikra's work investigates, and promotes the culture and identity of the region through its design work, and educational programs.

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Brendan McGetrick is an independent writer, editor, and designer and the curator of Global Grad Show, an exhibition of groundbreaking students works which takes place each year in Dubai as part of Dubai Design Week. His work has appeared in publications in over twenty countries, including Wired, Art Review, Domus, and Vogue Nippon. His projects include the books MAD Dinner (Actar), Urban China: Work In Progress (Timezone 8), and Who is Architecture? (Domus/Timezone 8). In 2011, he curated Unnamed Design, a component of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, in collaboration with Ai Weiwei. The exhibition received over 200,000 visitors and was named the year's best contemporary design exhibition by the New York Times.

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Enrico Atanasio, Director Audi Middle East. With over 30 years of global experience within the automotive industry, Enrico joins the regional subsidiary following his role as the Marketing and Network Development Director of Audi Saudi Arabia. Enrico previously headed the Fiat Group in India and has extensive international working experience. In his new role, he will be responsible for the Audi brand, and will directly head the Audi business in the region for 11 Middle East countries.

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William Knight is the Managing Director and Head of Design of Art Dubai Group. William entered the design world in 1999 on joining the Design Council as Public Affairs Manager. During this time Knight spent six-months on secondment to UK Trade & Investment, Australia in 2003, project-managing a three-city tour of the award-winning Great Expectations exhibition. In 2004, he joined the London Design Festival Ltd as Deputy Director taking responsibility for growing the festival programme, producing the annual marketing and communications campaign alongside strategic planning, business and stakeholder management. In 2012, he moved to Media 10 managing a portfolio of design trade events including 100% Design, the UK’s largest and longest running trade show, and Clerkenwell Design Week which was recently announced as the highest ranked UK design event in Dezeen’s Hot List.

Mohammad Saeed Al-Shehhi. Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Design District. Prior to d3, Mohammad held a number of prominent roles within the broadcast sector. In 2008 he was appointed was Deputy CEO at DMI where he was responsible for developing the organisation's corporate strategy and analysing operational and performance efficiencies. He also launched the first DMI native HD channels, developed DMI's state of the art technical infrastructure and led DMI's digital offering.

Dr. Noah Raford. Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Dubai Futures Foundation, and is an advisor on futures, foresight, and innovation at the UAE Prime Minister's Office. Noah helped establish the country's first national foresight unit, helped established the Dubai Future's Foundation and the Museum of the Future, and is part of a team that identifies emerging opportunities, develops strategic partnerships, and prototypes future initiatives for the Government of Dubai.

Aisha Alsager. Currently serves as Managing Director at AGi architects, where she oversees a number of projects spanning a range of program, scale, typology, complexity and overall firm strategy in Kuwait City. Prior to joining AGi, Alsager worked in Boston and New York on a variety of small and large-scale projects. Her experience includes web design, digital fabrication, material research, and temporary installations, to interiors, building, and urban design projects.

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Amer Aldour. Trained in Architecture and Engineering. He worked in both fields before developing further interest in exploring the interface between technological innovations and architectural space. Amer recently started his own interactive design studio in dubai (inter.act design - The studio aims at creating experiential installations through deployment of innovative design and fabrication technologies - creating works that intersect the worlds of architecture, technology and design.

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2016 winners

The purpose of the Audi Innovation Award is to invigorate design and technology thinking in the GCC and Levant, so as to facilitate significant positive change. Its goal is to provide a platform for the region for the development and exchange of ideas; to simultaneously support, mentor, and ultimately make room for the visionaries of tomorrow. The theme for 2016 was Alternative where the objective for designers was to offer concepts that integrate existing solutions into new uses, ranging from lifestyle, healthcare, mobility, education and urban public spaces.

1st place

One Handed Tableware Set: Sahar Madanat Design Studio

View project View top ten finalists

2nd place

Dubai Metro-Bike Flyover: Mansour Attia

View project View top ten finalists

3rd place

Gaudi System: Nick Karintzaidis

View project View top ten finalists


View the Award criteria

View criteria for submissions
View criteria for judging


The prize to the winning designer of the Audi Innovation Award will include a trophy and a trip to the Audi factory in Ingolstadt, Germany to experience the automotive design journey at their company headquarters. In addition to this, Audi Middle East will award $25,000 worth of consultancy to cover items such as IP registration, legal counselling and business development. The progressive automotive company will work closely with their partners at Dubai Design Week to provide design advice and mentoring  to ensure the winning design is protected and given every opportunity for further development.

Shortlisted candidates will be given $2,500 towards the presentation of their concept model that is to be exhibited at Dubai Design Week in 2017.