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Caithness.org News Bulletins - November 2002
YOUNG BRIGHT STARS SET TO TAKE
PART IN YOUTH CHALLENGE
Teams of young people from across the Highlands and Islands are set to take up the Highlands and Islands Youth Challenge, a major technology and innovation competition which closes for applications this Friday (22nd November).
PICT Innovation Ltd, a partnership company established to foster good ideas and turn them into business ventures by supporting research and commercialisation, is delivering the programme on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It is open to teams of three to five people under the age of 20, with innovative ideas for information technology projects that have the potential to become commercially viable ventures.
PICT project manager, Bryan Fraser, said he was delighted with the level of interest generated since the challenge was launched at the end of last month. He added: "It's only been a couple of weeks since we launched the challenge and already we have applications from teams in Orkney, the Western Isles and around the mainland. This is a reflection of the level of innovation that exists among young people of the Highlands and Islands, and we're looking forward to a fun and exciting few months ahead."
The various stages of the competition will encourage the development of a wide variety of skills such as communication, presentation and project management, and teams taking part will be offered support and advice from mentors from the business sector and from specialists in key subjects areas.
Applications, from schools, community groups, youth groups and other interested young people, can be completed online ( www.pict.org.uk/hothouse or call 08700 636333) and should be submitted no later than 22nd November.
The best teams with the most innovative ideas will be selected and invited to present their ideas to a panel of industry experts in December. A number of teams will be asked to develop their ideas with the support of specialist advice and support and submit them by Easter next year.
The finalists will then be invited to take part in the grand final 'Hot House' event next summer, which will be a seven-day residential workshop held at the Fairburn Activity Centre in Marybank. This will see the production of prototypes, and competitors will be judged on teamwork, innovation, feasibility, communication and peer opinion.
Prizes will be awarded at each stage of the challenge. The overall winning team will receive an all-expenses trip to Media Lab in Dublin to learn about the "blue-sky" innovation research and development that is taking place throughout Europe.
The Highlands and Islands Youth Challenge is being supported by a host of sponsors including BT Scotland, in conjunction with BT's world-renowned research and technology business, BTexact Technologies. The list of supporters also includes Sony, Media Lab Europe, Business Lab and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.