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Youth Challenge 2008

13th October 2007

The hunt has begun to find the best young innovators in the Highlands and Islands.

The ICT Youth Challenge 2008 is looking for young people with bright ideas.

The annual challenge, launched this week, is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), BT Scotland and Microsoft, and invites teams of young people to submit their ideas for information and communications technology and of the future.

The most promising ideas are then selected and teams invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. After a number of rounds, the competition culminates with six teams being chosen to go forward to the Hothouse, an intensive week of team work and exert advice focusing on turning ideas into a reality and producing working prototypes of the ICT gadgets of the future.

Youth challenge operations director Rob Murray said: "The challenge is encouraging young people to think out of the box and come up with revolutionary innovative products or services. Young people work together to develop their team working skills, business skills, technical appreciation and are provided with support and technical advice from
experts that allow them to advance their brainwaves.

Taking part in the challenge can really make a difference. Several of the young people who we have worked with have decided as a result to take a completely different career path than they'd originally planned whilst others have advanced their ideas to patent status."

Last year's challenge saw The Microsoft prize category carried off by a Charleston Academy team consisting of Andrew Fraser, Alan Hercher and Tom Gallacher, who won a trip to visit Microsoft's world famous Redmond Campus in Seattle, USA.

Andrew said: "This is the icing on the cake after a great year. Taking part in the ICT Youth Challenge is a great opportunity for young people and we'd absolutely encourage others to get involved this year. Our visit to Seattle and Microsoft's campus was the trip of a lifetime."

John MacKenzie, development manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise said, "The challenge is now in its fifth year and we are ramping up activity and adding new sponsors. Participant benefits are considerable and the prizes are simply breathtaking."

Teams interested in taking part in the challenge can find out more and submit their ideas on the website www.youth-challenge.co.uk

 

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