BT Ireland today launched the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and is calling on students throughout Ireland to enter their ideas and inventions by the 1st October 2012.
As part of the launch, BT has released research into trends in projects which have qualified over the past six years to understand patterns in student’s thinking, how they make decisions and from where they draw their inspiration and subject matter. The extensive research undertaken by BT into over 3,000 qualified entries from 2007 to 2012 has revealed that participating students have dramatically evolved their ideas to reflect the constantly shifting economic, environmental and social landscapes in Ireland over this period.
In the 2012 exhibition, 15% of students (more than one in every seven projects) demonstrated entrepreneurial flair coupled with honed business acumen. These students fully understand the value of creating and owning entrepreneurial ideas. In stark contrast, six years ago, a mere 2% of projects could be considered commercially-viable. This trend resulted in a call from BT for the Patents Office to be present at the exhibition to help participating students protect and grow their ideas.
The research findings analysed:
Exports: Vital to the recovery of the Irish economy, agriculture remains a key component of the export market. Exhibiting students have shown they understand the benefits of Irish agriculture as a commercially viable opportunity. In 2012, over 60 projects focused on the agri-business sector, representing a four-fold increase on the 2007 entries in this sector.
Smart students know the value of smart technology. The 2011 and 2012 exhibitions saw a number of apps developed for the everyday consumer from inception right through to delivery of a commercially-viable business venture.
Renewable Energy: There has been a five-fold increase in the number of projects investigating possible alternative and renewable energy sources.
Social Media: Students in 2012’s exhibition were concerned with the dangers of social media and how to protect themselves online. This represents a significant change in attitude from 2007, when many such entries focused on the benefits and attributes of social media.
Environmental Conservation: There has been a five-fold increase in the number of projects geared towards conservation of the environment.
Mental Health: The number of projects relating to mental health issues has dramatically increased. In 2007, just two projects referenced the topic, compared with over 20 in the 2012 exhibition.
Geographical Trends: A number of counties have continued to increase their volume of entries every year:
In 2007 Co. Mayo submitted only one entry to the exhibition versus 11 in 2012
Co. Galway has increased its volume of entries from five (2007) to 14 (2012)
Kerry has a significant increase in numbers from two (2007) to 15 (2012)
In 2012 Cork had over 100 projects exhibiting for the first time
However, Co. Kilkenny has decreased its volume of entries over the past six years, from 13 (2007) to five (2012)
Colm O’Neill, Chief Executive, BT Ireland, said, “Ireland has faced well-documented challenges in the past number of years, and it is inevitable and unfortunate that our young people will bear some of the burden as the future generation of leaders. But as evidenced by their participation in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, we have vast numbers of bright young people whose focus is on discovering solutions to our problems, on bettering the economy and society. As we count down to the 49th exhibition, I’d encourage all students to send in their ideas because we’ve proven that the exhibition can lead to brilliant opportunities for those that participate.”
Dr. Fergal Brady, Examiner of Patents at the Patents Office added, “In 2012 the Patents Office received queries from over 30 entries prior to the exhibition. We are certainly seeing a trend for more of a product, innovation or invention-led project from the applications we get. Prior to this, on average we would have seen approximately 12 patent applications and traditionally 1-2 of these are accepted. Our presence at the RDS affords us the opportunity to connect with and offer sound intellectual property advice to the inventors and innovators of tomorrow.”
At the launch announcement today, BT encouraged students to begin preparing their projects for the 2013 exhibition. The closing date for entry is just over four months away – Monday 1stOctober 2012 – and BT is hoping to break a new record for entry numbers in 2013.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will take place in the RDS, Dublin from January 9th – 12th 2013. There are over 120 awards including the overall BT Young Scientist & Technologist of the Year. In addition, BT offers over 30 participating students the opportunity to take part in the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp” an intensive innovation skills camp that BT runs after the exhibition to give students commercialisation skills.
The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is organised by BT Ireland, and is supported by a number of valued partners including Analog Devices, Intel, the Department of Education & Skills and RTE. For more information on the exhibition, log onto www.btyoungscientist.com.