Smart young minds get down to business on BT commercial skills programme

BT launches 2011 Business of Science and Technology Programme with new partner NovaUCD  Dublin, Monday 28th February 2011: An intensive business mentoring programme kicks off today to give secondary school students the commercialisation skills they will need to convert their innovative ideas into commercial opportunities.

Devised by BT, and delivered by NovaUCD, the BT Business of Science & Technology Programme will involve 33 students who were chosen from the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition which took place in January.  The programme was established by BT to help bridge the gap between education and business, and give students an early insight into how to progress from the classroom to the boardroom.

At NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre in UCD, the students will learn from leading figures from a wide range of emerging and established organisations including: Aristo; Equinome; Bord Gais; Enterprise Ireland; IDA; HEA; Select Strategies; UCD and University of Ulster.

Over the course of four days the students will focus on developing a number of projects that stood out for their commercial potential at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in January, including: a flexible, waterproof, inflatable flood barrier for domestic and commercial use; the potential of waste materials from hedgerow cuttings as a feasible biomass fuel; and DIY Wind Power – portable community generators for the Third World.

Colm O’Neill, Managing Director, Business, BT Ireland said: “Companies and countries alike can fail without the right skills to innovate and compete.  There is amazing talent on display each year at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, and we are well placed to work with leading business leaders to pass on our business know-how and skills to the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.  Working together, we can build a better future for Ireland.”

Dr Pat Frain, Director, NovaUCD, added, “NovaUCD is delighted to be partnering with BT on this exciting and valuable programme. The development of an entrepreneurial and innovation culture, and embedding an ethos of innovation and entrepreneurship among second level students, is critically important for Ireland’s future economic growth and development.”

Each student will receive a certificate of achievement on completing the programme.  The Higher Education Authority (HEA) will award the best individual and best group with one week Summer placements at University of Limerick (UL)/National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG).

For further information, log on to: www.btyoungscientist.com or phone 1800 924 362 or from Northern Ireland 048 800 917 1297.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact:

Michelle Toner, Fleishman-Hillard, 01 6188 420 or 085 725 9809

Or

Priscilla O’Regan, Head of PR, BT, 01 432 5162 or 086 633 5398

Or

Micéal Whelan, NovaUCD, Communications, 01 716 3712

About BT:

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 170 countries.  Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services.  BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2010, BT Group’s revenue was £20,911 million.

BT plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. For more information, visit www.bt.com

About NovaUCD:

NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, is the hub of innovation and knowledge transfer activities at University College Dublin. NovaUCD is responsible for the commercialisation of intellectual property arising from UCD research and for the development of co-operation with industry and business. NovaUCD as a purpose-built centre also nurtures new technology and knowledge-intensive enterprises. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx.  www.ucd.ie/nova

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