Success Stories

Story of

Ahmed Zahlan


About the Project

Ahmed’s passions lie within the field of innovation and empowering people around the world suffering from Celiac Disease to embrace and be proud of their illness. Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disease, where the consumption of gluten overtime, hinders the body’s ability to take in the necessary nutrients during digestion. 

As someone who suffers from Celiac Disease himself, Ahmed is adamant about making his innovation breakthrough, as the need for it in the medical community continues to rise. During his participation in Season 10 of Stars of Science, he invented Glutect, a contactless gluten detector which ‘scans’ food using infrared waves. As his product continues to develop, his vision for the future includes a user-friendly app that is directly accessible from any smartphone. To Ahmed, direct access and direct results are key! 

Beyond Stars of Science

While he was still in his last year at the National School of Applied Sciences in Morocco, he was also seeking investment in his project and was incubated by Orange Corners, an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands with a presence in Morocco, where he works on improving his prototype every day.  “Stars of Science has given me the opportunity to share my idea with the world; get constructive criticism from medical technology specialists and Celiac Disease patients alike; then finally, share my innovation with the world. You only fail when you stop trying”, the innovator explained. 


After his participation in Stars of Science, he was declared best innovator in Morocco in 2019 and further received recognition from INSEEC PARIS for having the best project in the Hackathon for digestive diseases 2020. In April 2021, he was a finalist in a collaborative competition between Africa Business School and Columbia University and later in June 2021, he won the second prize of innovation in an e-health competition in Morocco.  

  The inventor is pursuing a PhD in entrepreneurship and innovation, specifically AI innovation in healthcare focusing on the issues facing medical entrepreneurs seeking funding in the Arab world. 

Ahmed is currently working on partnerships with Moroccan laboratories and other international entities to develop the proof of concept which will lead to the creation of a prototype of his Stars of Science innovation Glutect.


Personal Reflection

Commenting on his experience on Stars of Science, Ahmed said, “My vision for life has changed. I was just a student who attended classes to pass his exams and privately dreamt about participating in Stars of Science. And now? I challenge myself every day and am in the top nine in the Arab world’s young innovators.” 

Nicknamed the Lion of the Atlas, the young Moroccan innovator strongly believes that enhancing education quality across the Arab world is crucial to the future. “If we have an educated nation, we will begin to see more innovation and development in products, rather than consumption,” said Ahmed. 


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