Dublin, Tuesday 5th April 2011: BT has today launched the 2012 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and committed to a further three years as the organiser and sponsor. BT will invest over €2 million over three years in the event, which has become the largest of its kind in Europe since BT became involved 12 years ago.
BT has also today announced that it will increase its Travel & Accommodation grant by 50 percent to €75,000. The grant will be a boost to schools across the island of Ireland that require extra financial support to travel and stay in Dublin for the annual fair and competition in January. To date, BT has provided over €250,000 in grants to schools on the island since the scheme’s inception.
The renewed sponsorship demonstrates BT’s commitment to economic and social development in Ireland, including investment in skills, innovation, entrepreneurship, and communications and IT infrastructure. The exhibition encourages schools to embrace the critical skills of science, technology, engineering and maths, and provides a platform for innovative ideas to be recognised and showcased. Students from the exhibition have gone on to secure awards at international events such as the UK Young Scientist, the European Young Scientist and the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in the US. The exhibition has also been the launch-pad for students who have turned their innovative ideas into commercial opportunities and enterprises.
Graham Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer, BT Ireland, said, “We believe the exhibition ticks all the right boxes for the country, its students and BT – it helps stimulate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and gives a much-needed lift to spirits.”
He added, “Innovation and skills are critical to the success of economies and major brands like BT, and through the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, we can seek to encourage bright young minds to invent new products and services, start enterprises, generate exports and ultimately create jobs.”
Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD, said, “The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, which is now entering its 48th year, gives young people a great opportunity to move beyond the classroom and to display their originality and research skills to great practical effect.”
“It provides the motivation and stimulus to encourage today’s students to strive to be at the forefront of research and innovation in tomorrow’s world and continuing to encourage our young people to be interested in science and technology is vitally important to the economy.”
“I would like to commend BT for continuing to support this important venture, as well as the students, teachers, organisers and judges who put so much energy and professionalism into this event each year.”
At the announcement today, BT also called on students to begin to prepare their projects for the 2012 exhibition. The closing for entry is 3rd October 2011, and the company is hoping to break a new record for entry numbers in 2012.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from January 11th – 15th 2012. For more information on the exhibition, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com or call 1800 924 362 or from Northern Ireland 0800 917 1297