Junior inventor contest encourages child entrepreneurs

11 Jan 2010

To mark World Intellectual Property day, the Irish Patents Office has launched the Junior Inventor 2010 competition, aimed at encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity and thinking outside the box amongst primary schools students.

The junior inventor contest, now in its third year, hopes to spark interest in science and engineering by challenging primary school children to come up with a novel idea or invention that either solves a problem, improves on an existing product or solution, or makes life easier.

That’s the spirit

Commenting on the launch of Junior Inventor 2010, ICT Ireland executive Aoife O’Brien said that it was a great way of promoting a spirit of creativity and innovation in students from a young age.

“The smart economy will be built on a culture of collaboration, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation,” she said.

“If we cultivate these skills in students from primary level, we will have the ability to truly become a hub for the global knowledge-based economy, supporting and growing Irish and foreign-owned companies.”

O’Brien noted that while, as a society, we have not lost our appetite for technological innovation, “we are not preparing our young people for careers in this field”.

Contest categories

The competition is divided into two categories, first class to third class, and fourth class to sixth class, with a prize for both the individual student and the school involved.

Launching the competition, Eamonn Laird, controller of patents, designs and trademarks, said, “One of the key features of a smart economy is building the innovation or ‘ideas’ component of the economy. The junior inventor competition is designed to begin that innovation process at primary-school level.”

By Marie Boran

Photo: The Junior Inventor 2010 competition aims spark primary school students’ interest in science and engineering