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Student Innovators win funding to develop new ideas with social impact

Some of Scotland’s brightest young innovators gathered at a special retreat in Loch Lomond on 25-26 June for the final of the ’I’m an Innovator’ competition.

Recognising the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and Scotland’s historical role in social innovation, the competition sought to inspire the next generation of social entrepreneurs by challenging students in colleges and universities to come up with new ideas which would have a positive social impact.

Over 100 entries were received, with entrants completing a number of stages before reaching the final. 14 ideas were represented in this final stage of the competition, ranging from new products and services to improve social inclusion, education and innovative products to improve general health & fitness or manage medical conditions.

The finalists worked on their ideas over the weekend, before making their final pitches to a panel of young social entrepreneurs; Fergus Moore & Scott Kennedy (Revive ECO),and Stephen Spiers (Studio2080, Power a Life).

The final winners of the ‘I’m an Innovator’ Competition are:

1st prize: £1000
Alex Rollings & Alison Cunningham, University of Strathclyde
Winning entry: Innobox, which uses storytelling and problem solving to encourage a child’s interest in STEM subjects.

2nd Prize: £750
Glen McMurchy, University of Strathclyde
Winning entry: A new modular design for wind towers.

Third Prize: £500
Liam McMorrow, University of Aberdeen,
Winning entry: A new device to help diabetics manage insulin dosages.

Highly Commended: £250
Simon Griffiths, Edinburgh College
Idea: A support package to help young people cope with renal dialysis.

Highly Commended: £250
Heather Guyan, University of Strathclyde
Idea: An innovative ‘ear defender’ to support learning in special needs environments.

Highly Commended: £250
David White, University of Strathclyde
Idea: A new bodyweight fitness training product.

Commenting on the competition, Bob Keiller, Chairman of Scottish Enterprise and former Chief Executive of the Wood Group, said:

“Business can have a tremendous positive impact in tackling social issues. It’s incredibly important that our next generation understands this and is encouraged and empowered to make Scotland a better place for the future. This initiative from SIE is a wonderful example of this in action; challenging our young people to look at the world around them and see how they can help.”

Fiona Godsman, CEO of SIE continued:

“The competition has been a fantastic experience and we’re delighted to havehad such a good response from students. The quality of the finalists ideas and pitches was outstanding and SIE will continue to work with all of the finalists and make sure they get the help and support they need to develop their ideas.”

Pictured: Alex Rollings and Alison Cunningham receive the ‘I’m an Innovator’competition top prize from Fiona Godsman, CEO of SIE.

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