Meet the young innovators in the running for the £25,000 Longitude Explorer Prize
16 Mar 2020
An app that supports students with dyslexia and learning difficulties, to a robot companion for those with anxiety and autism are just two of the finalists in the Longitude Explorer Prize
The forty finalist teams in the fourth Longitude Explorer Prize have now been chosen, after a series of tough deliberation sessions by an expert panel of judges. Thirty were selected from the original semi-finalist cohort, with a further ten chosen from the latest round of wildcard entries, which allowed any applicants who didn’t get the chance to complete their application the first time round the opportunity to put forward their ideas.
Other game-changing ideas hoping to win include a robot fish that collects plastic from oceans and a t-shirt that detects heart problems, as well as a bin that automatically sorts rubbish for recyclables and an AI system to monitor and reduce traffic in busy city centres.
“We want to empower young people to not only have bold and brave ideas, but to take that next step, and make them a reality so they can transform the world for the better”
Those that have made it through to the finals will now be mentored and supported to develop their ideas, produce designs and prototypes and prepare for a Dragons’ Den style pitch in July to win the £25,000 prize for their school or youth group. Three runner-up teams will also each receive £10,000.
The prize encouraged entries from young people from across the whole of the United Kingdom, and from all different backgrounds. With the gender-divide in the STEM industries heavily skewed towards men and only 21% of patent applications featuring a named woman, the Longitude Explorer Prize has worked hard to promote STEM as an exciting career path for all genders. Impressively, girls account for more than half (55%) of all of the applicants to the Longitude Explorer Prize this year.
Constance Agyeman, Head of International Development and Communities, Nesta Challenges said:
“It is abundantly clear that our young people are passionate about the great challenges of our time and have the capacity, creativity and power of thought to make the world a better place. The significant emphasis on STEM education in recent years is hugely positive. Now we need to supercharge those talents by embedding entrepreneurial skills in the classroom too. We want to empower young people to not only have bold and brave ideas, but to take that next step, and make them a reality so they can transform the world for the better.”