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BT launches search for the UK’s brightest tech talent with BT Young Pioneer Award 2020

27 May BT launches search for the UK’s brightest tech talent with BT Young Pioneer Award 2020

This year marks the 10th anniversary of BT’s sponsorship of the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards, a nationwide competition to celebrate digital pioneers who use the power of technology to improve people’s lives across the UK.

BT is delighted to announce that nominations are now open for the BT Young Pioneer Award, a category that aims to uncover amazing tech ideas that tackle the issues young people care about most – from loneliness caused by the Coronavirus lockdown, to the damaging effects of climate change.

The award helps shine a light on innovation and creativity in tech and is part of the BT Skills for Tomorrow initiative, a completely free programme which aims to help 10 million people make the most of life in the digital world.

Free to enter and open to anyone based in the UK between the ages of nine and 18, the BT Young Pioneer Award winner will be supported with up to £10,000 in funding, alongside access to BT experts with relevant skills who will volunteer their time to help bring the idea to life.

Last year’s winner, Mihika Sharma developed the ‘Smart Stick’ in 2019 to help blind and visually-impaired people walk more safely and with greater independence by using smart sensors, sounds and vibrations. The team at BT are currently supporting Mihika to develop her solution by funding market research and usability testing with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and helping to understand the market potential for her invention.

Professor Kerensa Jennings, BT Group Director of Digital Impact, said: “Now more than ever, it’s clear to see how technology can be a remarkable force for good in society – from helping the most vulnerable stay connected, to keeping schoolchildren learning online during lockdown. At BT, we want to help people make the most of life and inspire confidence with technology.

“Since we helped found the awards 10 years ago, finalists and winners have come up with a huge variety of tech ideas to support some of the most vulnerable people in society. We can’t wait to see what UK’s Young Pioneers come up with in 2020.”

Submitting an award entry is easy. Simply go to where entrants will need to answer a selection of simple questions about the problem their tech project solves, how they plan to develop their idea and why they think they deserve to win.