BT Ireland CEO Colm O’Neill said the number of entries to the annual BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition – now in its 50th year – quadrupled in the 14 years since the telecoms player took on sponsorship of the event.
Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com as the event got under way in Dublin, O’Neill said the annual science and technology fair is of vital importance to Ireland, ushering in new generations of leaders, scientists and entrepreneurs.
“It’s a massive deal for the country,” he said. “We’ve been organising this for 14 years now and in that time the number of entries have quadrupled and we’ve also doubled the number of people coming to the event, as well as adding special acts, partners and things like the BT Business Bootcamp. It has turned into a very substantial event.”
The event is now in its 50th year and this year more than 1,200 students are exhibiting their projects and more than 45,000 visitors will stream through the doors of the RDS.
O’Neill said more than 2,000 projects were entered into the competition and that number was narrowed down to the 550 projects that are presenting at the exhibition.
He said 82 judges will judge each project a minimum of three times.
“The standard is high again this year and we’ve seen a steady and consistent improvement through the years. Because 550 out of 2,000 projects are selected, everyone here knows that it is hard work to get here in the first place and they all put in extra work when they’re here.
“I’m confident great projects will be judged and a great overall winner will be selected this year,” O’Neill said.