Handloom for PWDs

by برنامج فرصة - وزارة التضامن الاجتماعي

   Luxor, Egypt

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برنامج فرصة - وزارة التضامن الاجتماعي


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Can you customize the traditional handloom to enable people with disabilities (PWDs) to work efficiently in the handicraft sector?
A call for mechanical and mechatronic engineers, professionals and entrepreneurs to find innovative adjustments to the traditional handloom to ease the production process for people with down syndrome, minimize their physical exhaustion, and increase their productivity for a chance to win 20,000 EGP provided by the British Council - Developing inclusive and creative economy program and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, to implement the proposed solution.

This challenge aims to the creation of significant economic opportunities for people with disabilities in addition to supporting efforts to preserve this ancient craft from extinction. Please read the following for more details!


Handwoven carpets are an ancient craft that consumes both time and effort. The craft requires two main skills, focus on details and patience on repetition, people with down syndrome and people with disabilities have patience for repetition and focus on details which makes them perfect candidates to become the craftspeople behind this creative economy.

Although the handwoven carpets require a focus draining process, it also requires physical effort for long periods of time. Although they are talented and precise yet the process is exhausting for people with disabilities as it takes a day to make about 5 to 7 cm which isn’t fruitful and not very rewarding.

The Challenge

To customize and automate a regular handloom to ease its use by people with disabilities. The adaptation of the loom should maintain the need for human presence to create a product but also should mitigate the production process to suit a person with a disability and provide a more convenient working conditions, thus reducing the errors degrading the quality of the final products, increasing the person with disability’s income, and sustaining this ancient craft.

The submitted design should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Reducing the physical effort and stress

  • Reduce the time taken to produce one piece

  • Can be easily transported using a manual cart or labor

  • Preferably suitable for both people with Down syndrome and physical disabilities

  • Utilizes locally-manufactured and/or locally-available components

  • Low maintenance

  • Safe to operate


Reward and Conditions:

The winner will receive a reward of 20,000 EGP provided by the British Council - Developing Inclusive and Creative Economy Program to implement the solution, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, according to the following conditions:

  • The solution should meet the aforementioned criteria
  • The solution should be provided as a prototype design that serves as a proof of concept
  • The solution should include a clear plan of action including implementation stages, timeline, required tools/materials, estimated budget, and technical support required (if applicable).
  • The reward will be given in installments, in accordance with milestones set by the innovator(s) according to their plan of action.
  • Preference will be given to machines manufactured based on locally available components.
  • Machine functions and efficiency will be tested by the solution seeker before final approval.
  • The innovator/solver is committed to providing technical assistance to deal with any problems that may occur within the first 3 months after the delivery of the machine.
  • The proposed solution should include a user manual, instructions and a training plan for employees to use the machine

As per our platform Terms and Conditions, in case the intellectual property rights are not registered, the innovator should include the minimum details required to judge the technical validity and feasibility of the solution without full technical specifications.

You can submit a solution at any time. Before doing so, we strongly recommend you to read the rules and FAQs.

About the Program

This challenge is part of the collaboration program initiated by the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS) represented in “Forsa” program and the main funding supporter is the British Council represented in Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies program (DICE) and implemented by Yomken.com. The main goal of the program is to discover and develop the contribution of PWDs in the creative economies focusing on their competitive advantages, through solving challenges and building social initiatives.

For more details about the program, watch this interview with Dr. Atef El-Shabrawy explaining the program.

For more info about the challenge, kindly watch the following video

Project By

برنامج فرصة - وزارة التضامن الاجتماعي


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