Young Innovators Challenge

Scotland's social innovation themed competition gives students the chance to make a difference!

The 21st century has brought with it a number of challenges and opportunities for Scotland. Healthcare issues such as obesity and dementia are a growing threat, which need addressed as a nation. There are also opportunities to develop new and cleaner sources of power for our country, make our cities more sustainable, and improve our communities with the latest technological developments. The solutions to the challenges we face are out there and just need that spark of ingenuity to bring them together!

Social innovation is an emerging global phenomenon that brings together enterprising and entrepreneurial thinking with creative innovative skills to deliver solutions with a social impact. Done well, it changes people's lives and communities for the better.

The Young Innovators Challenge 2015 invites Scotland's students (18+) to submit ideas which address problems or opportunities related to one of three areas that already exhibit opportunities for social innovation:

  • Healthcare and wellbeing
  • Green and sustainable energy resources
  • Smarter communities and infrastructure

Thirty successful entrants could receive £2000 to work on their innovations throughout summer 2015 and take it from an idea to a potential solution! They'll then pitch in August for the chance to win a top prize of £5000!

Entries can be submitted online from February 02 until April 08 2015.  Individual and team entries will be accepted. Up to 150 entrants will be invited to a special social innovation development weekend event in April. Here they will develop their ideas into potential social innovations with appropriate mentors. Final competition judging takes place in May.

The best ideas will then be supported through a summer of residential and workshop events. There will be opportunities to meet and be challenged by leaders in social innovation, get great opportunities to network with other innovators and pitch for the top prize in August.

This is your chance to make a difference to your communities, your environment and the future of Scotland!

We received some fantastic winners in 2014. Are you up to the challenge?


The competition will open for entries on February 02 2015. Students can register their interest and receive updates about the competition here.

If you are a staff member at a Scottish College or University, or employ modern apprentices and would like to help promote the competition to eligible students in your institution or organisation you can register your interest here.




(Download the full list of final winners from the Young Innovators Challenge 2014 and the shortlisted entrants from stage 1 of the competition).