What was the Longitude Explorer Prize 2020?
The Longitude Explorer Prize 2020 focused on how Artificial Intelligence can help solve the most pressing problems facing society, from climate change and pollution to health and wellbeing. The challenge, supported by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) called for the best and boldest ideas that use AI to make the world a better place.
Why did we run the Challenge?
The Longitude Explorer Prize 2020 challenged young people from diverse backgrounds to apply STEM skills to develop innovative, practical solutions to society’s biggest issues using technology. The Prize offered a positive intervention, enabling students to discover innovation and entrepreneurship early on, while also providing opportunities to learn the foundations of establishing a marketable product from business mentors.
What were we looking for?
The Longitude Explorer Prize was open to any organisation in the UK that works with young people aged 11-16 such as schools and youth groups. Participants were encouraged to submit ideas that use AI to help people live longer (helping the older generation to stay independent and active), live better (helping people live healthier), live together (through better transportation and tech) and live greener (helping tackle pollution and energy saving). These were based on the Government’s Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges.
- The Prize attracted 807 entrants, 55% of whom were girls, 30% identified as Black, Asian and minority ethnic, and 8% identified as having a disability.
- 60 semi-finalist teams were provided with learning materials and real examples of AI uses to help kick-start the teams’ creative thinking.
- 40 finalist teams were then supported with industry mentors to develop their solutions into real-world prototypes.
- The winners were awarded £25,000 for their school, three runners up were awarded £5,000 and a ‘People’s Choice Award’ through a public vote awarded a prize of £5,000.
100% of team champions...
would enter future prizes, 90% rated their overall experience as excellent
98% of students...
said the prize had inspired them to pursue entrepreneurship in the future
Of the 807 total entries...
55% of this year’s entrants were girls and 30% identified as BAME, and 8% identified as having a disability
- The Prize reached a diverse range of young people, with 55% of applicants identified as female, 30% as from a minority ethnic group and 8% as having a disability.
- Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 90% of teams successfully completed their submissions to the Prize.
- 100% of team champions would enter a team into the Prize in the future.
- 90% of team champions described their experience of participating in the Prize as excellent.
- 36% of entries were from schools with deprived pupil populations.
- 95% of finalists learnt entrepreneurship skills they would find useful after the Prize.
- 100% of team champions said their students had a more positive attitude towards entrepreneurship as a result of the Prize.
Read the final report
The Longitude Explorer Prize 2019 team
Programme Manager, Longitude Explorer Prize
Assistant Programme Manager
Assistant Programme Manager
Director of International Development