Posted on March 29, 2019 by staff

BT launches hunt for UK’s next young tech pioneer


BT has opened nominations for its BT Young Pioneer Award as part of the annual Tech4Good awards.

The award is open to nine to 18 year olds who are creating tech ideas and ‘transforming society’.

The winners will receive £5,000 of tech to help scale their projects as well as access to BT experts to develop their ideas.

All finalists will receive tickets to explore Bletchley Park, the once top-secret home of World War 2 codebreakers.

Last year’s BT Young Pioneer Award was scooped by Water Watcher, a group of four young inventors aged between nine and 15 years old, for their device which tackles water wastage due to memory loss, dementia, dyslexia or brain injury.

The product can fit onto any tap and uses the vibrations of the water with a timer and alarm system to alert the user if the tap is left running.

The device’s potential to save water and prevent flooding has been recognised by organisations such as Thames Water, WaterWise and Alzheimer’s Society.

Past winners and finalists of the Young Pioneer Award, including Arnav Sharma and Femi Owolade-Coombes, have gone on to become some of the UK’s brightest tech-talent.

Owolade-Coombes now delivers regular coding camps both in the UK and internationally, whilst Sharma is focusing on the development of new products to help people suffering with dementia.

“BT is keen to find and support disruptive new technologies that improve people’s everyday lives,” said Andy Wales, chief digital impact and sustainability officer of BT.

“A new world is being shaped and created by the rapid acceleration of technologies, and we need a culture in the UK that celebrates tech for good entrepreneurs, who are at the forefront of making sure no one is left behind.

“And it’s even more exciting when these new ideas come from young people.”

BT has partnered with the Tech4Good Awards since their conception in 2011 as part of its vision to empower young people with the digital skills to thrive.

Young people can submit their entries online with nominations closing on the 10th May.