Young people get chance to show innovative thinking

Some 500 secondary level schoolchildren attended an interactive two-day event held this week in the BBC Blackstaff Studios, and designed to stimulate innovative thinking among young people.

Organised by Invest Northern Ireland, the event involved the young people journeying through five zones each highlighting a different aspect of innovation. The young people got the opportunity to design a product from props provided, develop new brand ideas for Mars products, hear from Almac about how drugs are developed and get an insight into innovative thinking from Omlet, a company founded by university graduates to make hi-tech chicken hutches.

Carol Keery of Invest NI’s Innovation, Research and Technology division, says: “This is one of many events that we are organising to highlight the importance of innovation, in the run up to Innovation week 2007 that will take place in May. The event is called ‘The Future is Yours’ underlining the fact that young people are the innovators and entrepreneurs of the future.

“Our aim is to embed a culture of innovation and enterprise in young people and give them the confidence to explore their ideas and bring their unique perspective, imagination and energy to the world of business.”

Prizes were awarded to the school teams that came up with the most innovative new product ideas, which included an interactive hamster home and a life saving device.

Invest NI’s Innovation Week will take place from 14–18 May.