People and processesDigital SkillsStudents to develop future technology for £1M competition

Students to develop future technology for £1M competition

Future technology, from measuring air pollution to helping aging population stay healthy, will be addressed by the students entering the competition

Students between the age of 11 to 16 years across the UK are being offered almost £1 million of government investment to develop apps and the technology of the future.

The extra-curricular Longitude Explorer Prize, run by NESTA Challenges, will challenge young entrepreneurs to seize the economic opportunities of becoming greener, healthy ageing, cleaning up transport and the artificial intelligence and data revolution. These topics are also the four Grand Challenges identified in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore said: “Becoming greener, ageing healthily, cleaning up our transport and how we use AI and big data, they are today’s grand challenges and opportunities that can put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.

“This new competition will not only help thousands of young people seize these opportunities but also become the next generation of digital entrepreneurs to stay at the global cutting edge of innovation – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

Accessible innovations

Longitude Explorer Prize will start in September with first-round winners given the chance to work with expert mentors from industry. They will then be offered the chance to test their ideas in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch to experts with the chance to win cash prizes of up to £10,000 prize for their school.

The competition encourages students to address the government’s modern Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges towards Future of Mobility, Clean Growth, AI and Data and Ageing Society.

The innovations need to be readily accessible for people around the country to help new technology and innovation can benefit all corners of the country and sections of society.

Nesta commented through their website: “We’re thrilled to announce that Longitude Explorer Prize will be returning for the academic year 2019/20! This will be the third time we’ve run this prize, and with the support of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy we’re excited to reach as many young people across the UK as possible.

“We’ll be inviting 11-16 year olds to form teams of 2-5 people to submit their ideas for solutions, focused around using Artificial Intelligence to improve the lives of others.”

The Longitude Explorer Prize was first launched in 2014 for using STEM, entrepreneurship and innovation to help students tackle the issues they care about.

The Grand Challenges

The Industrial Strategy sets out Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, ensuring that the UK takes advantage of major global changes, improving people’s lives and the country’s productivity.

The government is developing ambitious missions to tackle these challenges and aim at:

  • Putting the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution and embedding AI across the UK will create thousands of good quality jobs and drive economic growth
  • Harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society and create an economy which works for everyone, regardless of age
  • Maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth and playing a leading role in providing the technologies, innovations, goods and services of this future
  • Becoming a world leader in shaping the future of mobility by looking for opportunities to improve customers’ experience, drive efficiency and enable people to move around more freely

Each of these will focus on a specific problem, bringing government, businesses and organisations across the country together to make a real difference to people’s lives.

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