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‘TechWorks’ brings dreams of Jordan inventors to life

AMMAN (AFP) – In the age of Covid, Jordanian mechanical engineer Saliba Taimeh pondered how to deal with one contaminated everyday surface: the handrails of escalators in shopping malls and transport hubs.

He came up with a device to sterilise them with UV rays – and this is where TechWorks stepped in.

A wealth of ideas would not have seen the light of day without TechWorks, a Jordanian platform aimed at bringing together youth, ideas and resources to jump-start innovations.

Set up in 2018, TechWorks said its mission is “to plug into entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems” and turn ideas into reality.

It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as 3D printers and affiliated with a foundation set up by Crown Prince Hussein.

Last year, it attracted about 100 inventors and start-up companies, enabling them to produce prototypes quickly and at low cost.

Taimeh, 39, said TechWorks “provided me with every support, back-up, advice and guidance” to help perfect the sterilising device, after 23 attempts over almost two years.

His invention sterilises the handrails of escalators “from all kinds of viruses, such as coronavirus and bacteria”, he said. After contacting several international companies, a German firm specialising in health and safety in public places signed up to manufacture the “Brigid Box”.

Weighing in at 7.2 kilogrammes, it can be installed in less than 15 minutes. Taimeh’s success story is only one of many. High school student Zain Abu Rumman, 18, has developed a tracking device for elderly patients and people with special needs, worn like a watch or around the neck.

The “SPS Watch” has a battery that lasts eight days and is resistant to water, heat and breakage.

“The device can send alerts to the mobile phone of a family member through a special application in case the person wearing it falls or is hurt, or if he strays from a certain place,” Abu Rumman said.

It took him two-and-a-half years to perfect and he has struck a production accord with a
Chinese company.

A man demonstrates the mobile app for ‘SPS Watch’ – a tracking device for the elderly those with special needs. PHOTO: AFP

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