Interview with BT’s Colm O’Neill at 51st BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (video)

7 Jan 2015

Colm O'Neill, CEO of BT Ireland

Entrants to the 51st BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in Dublin are showing increasing levels of entrepreneurial flair and business savvy, BT Ireland CEO Colm O’Neill said today.

O’Neill said the tradition of students endeavouring to tackle real-world problems is as strong as ever.

This year, the event received more than 2,077 entries, up 4pc, and the number of students taking part also increased 4pc to 4,616 from 367 schools.

He said more than 50,000 people are expected to pass through the doors of the RDS this week to attend the event.

O’Neill added that the number girls taking part continues to surpass that of boys, with 54pc of entries coming from girls and 46pc coming from boys.

Research conducted recently by the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition demonstrated that technology tops the career aspirations of students in Ireland, with 59pc of those surveyed saying they would most prefer Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s job.

A life of entrepreneurship was selected ahead of holding the presidency of the United States with Barack Obama at 19pc, and the life of a pop star with Miley Cyrus receiving only 13pc of votes.

The 2013 winners of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow from Kinsale, Co Cork, last year won the Grand Prize at the Google Science Fair and were included in Time magazine’s list of The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014.

The 2014 winner of the BT Young Scientist competition, Paul Clarke from Dublin, achieved second place in mathematics at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Warsaw in September.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years