KU Affairs

Khalifa University Launches Metaversity Hackathon Supported by Microsoft UAE and Hevolus Innovation

February 8, 2023

Mixed Reality Discovery Webinar on 15 February at Khalifa University to Explain Hackathon Requirements


Khalifa University of Science and Technology announced the launch of AED50,000-‘Metaversity Hackathon’ supported by Microsoft UAE and Hevolus Innovation through which students will have an opportunity to learn about building a mixed reality (MR) application for Microsoft HoloLens 2 – an ergonomic, untethered mixed reality holographic device that was recently launched in the UAE.


Registration will close on 27 February for the ‘Metaversity Hackathon’ that offers students an opportunity to experiment with cutting-edge technologies. The winner will receive AED25,000, the runner-up will get AED15,000 and the third place team AED10,000. A Mixed Reality Discovery Webinar will be organized for registered eligible students on 15 February to explain the hackathon requirements.


Khalifa University will reward students who successfully build an innovative mixed reality application prototype for HoloLens 2 that can transform how a university program is taught, learnt and/or assessed in a metaverse classroom experience, solving current challenges and unlocking new opportunities in higher education. The project application prototype should answer the question – How can metaverse technologies transform how universities educate and assess students? Students will be supported by technical mentors during the in-person competition that will be held at the Khalifa University Main Campus.


Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “Khalifa University is collaborating with Microsoft and Hevolus Innovation to launch the Metaversity Hackathon Competition with the aim of nurturing innovation and creativity among university students in the UAE.  Implementing a hackathon within clearly-established parameters and a set period of time will enable students to gain new technical skills, connect with mentors and collaborate with peers across faculties. We believe the competition will generate value-driving ideas, inspire a competitive spirit and build metaverse-readiness.”


Naim Yazbeck, General Manager, Microsoft UAE, said: “Mixed reality has the potential to truly transform the way we learn and teach future generations, while hackathons enable students to experience new technologies first hand, and are invaluable learning exercises. We are excited to be supporting Khalifa University in their efforts to bring the metaverse into the classroom, and we look forward to the innovative ideas the competition will spark.”


Antonio Squeo, Hevolus Innovation’s Cofounder and Chief Innovation Officer, said: “The Metaversity Hackathon validates the UAE University system’s goal of being at the cutting edge of education. It is an honor to bring our expertise in developing innovative XR products such as HevoCollaboration and hVerse, as well as our best practices, to guide and assist students during the Metaversity Hackathon. Acquisition International Magazine’s Global Excellence Awards named HevoCollaboration the Most Innovative Classroom Education Technology Provider of 2022, and it has received recognition from a number of international universities. Through our collaboration with Khalifa University and Microsoft, we are committed to improving educational sustainability and revolutionizing teaching methods in the region.”


Each team will have five eligible individuals who need to be at least 18 years old, enrolled in a university locally, and living in the UAE at the time of registering. The registered students will be invited to the Metaversity Hackathon in-person launch event on 1 March at the Khalifa University Campus.


The teams will have two days from 25 – 26 April 2023 to build the mixed reality application and prepare for the judging sessions. The teams will be judged on 27 April based on their creativity and exploration, how well the project fits the hackathon theme and challenge, novelty and quality of idea, technical execution excellence, design and UX, potential impact, as well as the team’s ability to articulate the project and deliver storytelling.


Microsoft UAE and Hevolus Innovation will provide technical readiness to participants who will also learn ways to adopt Microsoft technology and hardware in the mixed reality space for the competition.


Clarence Michael
English Editor Specialist
8 February 2023