ISA EMEA 2025 Student Games


The 2025 Student Games will be held as part of the ISA Saudi Automation & Digital Transformation Conference, scheduled for April 22nd–24th, 2025. The competition will be held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The competition will begin a day earlier, on April 21st, and conclude on April 23rd.


The theme of the game is “Where Challenges Meet Opportunities” and aims to provide students the opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge. Participation in the competition will focus on competing in two (2) tracks:

  •  First track: The Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) & industrial internet of things (iiot) Challenge
  •  Second track: Best Paper
    o Sub-track 1: Best Paper for Bachelor of Science Students
    o Sub-track 2: Best Paper for Master of Science Students

The First track competition will require student to attend in-person and compete in a team formation competition. Student teams will be formed randomly on the day of the competition followed by an icebreaker, and then a challenge to resolve. The challenge forms the core of the Student Games. They are intended to test students on principles of AI/ML and its capabilities. The actual challenge details will be shared on the first day of the competition; April 21st, 2025.

Who Should Participate

The student games are open for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Pakistan) Student). Moreover, Universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be invited to participate.

Student Games Judges Team

The student games will be examined by a diverse team of judges that represent academia and industry. The judging criteria will be focused on the following:

Item #1 Criteria Allocated Score
Creativity & Technical complexity
Potential business impacts
Prototype model
Technical presentation/write up

Track #1: The Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) & industrial internet of things (iiot) Challenge

Below is the Student Games Agenda for in the in-person competition along with more specific details.

AI/ML & iiot Challenge Agenda

Day 1: April 21, 2025 (Day Before Conference)
7:00 – 7:30 Registration
7:30 – 8:00 Team Building
8:00 – 8:30 Challenge Overview
8:30 – 5:00 Ideation, Resolution

Day 2: April 22, 2025
8:00 – 4:00 Development, Testing, and Results. Presentation development.

Day 3: April 23, 2025
8:00 – 11:30 Presentation, Judges and Score Finalization

Day 4: April 24, 2025
10:00 – 10:30 Results Announcement

Event Language
The event shall be conducted in English

Team Organization
Each team must be composed of 4 students from different academic institutions. The team formation will be random and as selected by the Student Games & Technical Committee.

Accommodations & Meals
The accommodation will be covered by the event, based on a standard single room for each participant, which will include breakfast. Additional food budget allocation per day is 188 SAR ($50).

Airline Ticket/Travel

The event will contribute to the airline ticket for a maximum value of SAR1500 ($400). This contribution will be paid on the last day of the competition (There will be no prepayment). Car transportations will not be covered

Competition Location
The competition will be held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The exact address will be shared at a later date.

Participant Roles & Responsibilities
• Participants shall make necessary travel arrangements to Dhahran
• Participants shall bring laptops to develop innovative solutions
• Participants shall attend each day of the event
• Participants shall be available to their team members to develop challenge solutions
• Participants shall contribute to the development of challenge solutions
• Participants shall comply with business casual dress code
• Participants are prohibited from enlisting external help

Track #2 : Best Paper Competition

Best Paper Competition Requirements:

  • The paper competition is open to students enrolled full or part-time in associate, undergraduate, or graduate master degree programs during the period of September 2023 to June 2024. PhD students will not be a part of this competition.
  • All entries must be submitted by April 17th 2024 via email.
  • Papers must be written and submitted by student(s) (associate, undergraduate, or graduate, in any Engineering discipline) enrolled full or part-time during the period of August 2023 to June 2024 at an academic institution
  • Work must be original and not previously published (copyright will remain with the author; winners grant publication rights to ISA Saudi Arabia, as well as the right to release entries to media)
  • All entries must be in English and suitable for publication
  • Include a title and a list of names of all contributing authors, their contact details, and the affiliated institute of higher education
  •  Must be prefaced with an abstract of no more than 400 words
  •  All papers should be less than 2,000 words (not including notes, tables, charts, and a bibliography which may not exceed 3 pages)
  •  Should be submitted in electronic format, preferably Microsoft Word or other revisable format, in 12-point type size
  •  Submissions will be reviewed by the events Student Games and Technical Committee