A team of four female students from United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) are set to shake-up the region’s interiors industry with their energy generating carpet.
Students Maitha Jumaa Al Kaabi, Zinab Ahmed Al Haddad, Razan Youssef Kharouf and Hamda Ahmed Al Derei are the co-founders of Bezeo, an innovative start-up based out of UAEU’s Science and Innovation Park.
The creative troupe, who were finalists in October’s GITEX start-ups pitch competition, first started working on the carpet in January 2016 with one goal in mind: to create a device that allows everybody to leave a positive footprint on the environment.
“This carpet is based on material that can generate electricity from our steps and
weight,” explains Maitha Jumaa Al Kaabi, the company’s chief financial officer. “Our
device can help in reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy, which results
in lowering the levels of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, thus saving our environment.
It is as simple as that. By stepping, walking or jumping on the carpet you can generate
green energy. This harvested energy can then be a supplier for different equipment
The carpet can be installed anywhere and to the customer’s specification, explains Zinab Ahmed Al Haddad, Bezeo’s CEO. More broadly, she says Bezeo aims to support the UAE’s Vision 2021 for a sustainable future.
“Bezeo is providing an environmentally friendly device which offers the chance for everyone to contribute in achieving the UAE’s vision, therefore leaving a positive footprint on the environment,” she adds.
The team came up with the concept while working on a separate project. “One of the members of our group was working on the same material that we are using for another application and when we researched more about this material we thought about the possibility of using it on floors to generate clean energy,” explains Hamda Ahmed Al Derei, the firm’s chief technology officer.
The material Al Derei is referring to is a form of piezoelectric material – piezoelectric are materials that can generate electricity when subjected to a mechanical stress.
Reflecting on their journey so far, Al Derei says: “The whole journey was somehow new to us. As engineers we were concerned with the technology but then we learned that we need a great deal of knowledge from the business side to build our company. We are still facing some problems in the pricing of the product and the final shape of it.”
To help the team hone their business skills Bezeo has been enrolled in the Science and innovation Park’s P2M program (Prototypes to Market) – the park’s incubation program for social entrepreneurship.
What next for the carpet? “We’re still in the initial stages as we just finished our pilot scale carpet that will be installed in UAEU,” explains Razan Youssef Kharouf, Bezeo’s chief operating officer. “After we finish our pilot test we will take it to the market.”
In terms of target market, Kharouf adds: “We’re targeting the most crowded public places to maximize the energy generated.”