Tennis champion Andy Murray and the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI) are today launching #TeenTechChallenge, which is aims to find life-changing inventions in digital health and care from Scotland’s most creative and innovative young minds.
The annual challenge, sponsored by Sopra Steria, invites teenagers from Scottish secondary schools, further education colleges and youth groups to develop ideas that will help young people manage their health, fitness and wellbeing, using technology.
The initiative is part of the five-year partnership between DHI and Andy Murray, who was named DHI’s ambassador last year. The challenge represents Murray’s personal ambition to promote healthier lifestyles amongst Scotland’s younger generations as well as skills development and career opportunities in this emerging market.
Groups of teenagers will compete for the chance to see their invention become reality, as well as prize package and recognition for their school, college or youth group.
“As a professional tennis player, I use digital health technology every day to monitor my performance and inform my training regime,” said Murray. “But digital health technology is not just for athletes. It has the potential to help everyone understand their health needs and goals better, and to make better choices.
“By taking part in the #TeenTechChallenge, we want young people to use their experiences, creativity and digital skills to develop one big idea that can make a difference.”
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All shortlisted #TeenTechChallenge teams will be invited to attend the #TeenTechBootcamp where they will develop entrepreneurial skills by attending a series of master classes hosted by industry experts, as well as prepare a professional pitch for their idea, which they will present to a panel of expert judges.
The winner will be announced in November and the successful team will then see their design developed into a prototype and evaluated through DHI’s own innovation processes.
Support will also be sought from Scottish SMEs and investors with a view to commercialising the successful solution. The prize package includes Apple Watches for all shortlisted entries plus iPads and £2,000 funding for the winning school, college or group.
Dave Clark, DHI chief executive, said: “Andy’s hard work and dedication is an inspiration to us all in achieving our goals. His support of our aims and personal interest in digital heath and care has allowed us to develop this unique challenge that will provide a chance for the next generation of innovators in Scotland to show off their talents.
“Scotland, among many other countries, faces major health and care challenges but the opportunity is there to create new solutions that will improve life quality and help Scotland compete in this important and growing economic sector.”
Alison McLaughlin, regional director at Sopra Steria, added: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring this fantastic challenge. Digital innovation that makes a difference is at the heart of what we do and this project aims to do just that.
“We’re also excited about the opportunity it presents to encourage Scotland’s teenagers to get involved in the digital world, build their entrepreneurial skills and perhaps even consider a future career in the technology industry.”
The Digital Health & Care Institute brings together people and organisations in the public, charity, technology, design and academic sectors to develop new ideas for digital technology that will improve health and care services in Scotland.
Its ambition is to address citizen needs, health and care challenges in Scotland and support companies to export proven technologies internationally, creating jobs and investment locally and abroad together with skills development.
DHI’s project portfolio is worth more than £5m and includes 100-plus projects engaging more than 50 companies, 15 of Scotland’s Universities and 25 third sector organisations.
The #TeenTechChallenge is also being supported by the Aberlour Childcare Trust, Entrepreneurial Scotland, GameChanger, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Young Enterprise Scotland and Young Scot.