Intel Innovation Camp inspires tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

10 May 2011

Intel today launched an Innovation Camp aimed at 50 Kilkenny students aged 16-18, with a goal of promoting technology-driven innovation and social entrepreneurship amongst young people.

Opened by Environment Minister Phil Hogan, TD, the Innovation Camp, which is also being supported by the Invest Kilkenny initiative, gives the students, from Colaiste Pobail Osrai and Colaiste Mhuire, Johnstown, the opportunity to develop innovative technology solutions for a relevant social problem.

The framework of the workshop is a game that guides the students through a four-step innovation process combining technology-driven and user-driven innovation in an easily understandable way.

The students will take on the problem of how to address solutions to meet the growing demands of an ageing population.

At the end of the two-day process, the students will be given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a group of judges and prizes will be awarded at a closing ceremony over which Mayor of Kilkenny, Martin Brett, will preside.

“Ireland is a small country and we will need to be smart if we are to hold our own in a competitive and rapidly changing global environment,” Hogan said.

“Innovation initiatives such as this one are exactly the integration that is needed between science and technology and I would encourage the students here today to think big – there is no reason why young Irish people should not create a world beating company. I would also like to congratulate and thank Intel for the program and for choosing Kilkenny students to participate.”

Nurturing budding entrepreneurs

Also speaking at the launch was Kilkenny county manager, Joe Crockett, who welcomed the nurturing of budding entrepreneurs by Intel, and the effort to equip young people with the skills to help them become the star innovators of tomorrow.

“We need to get our students excited about science, social entrepreneurship and technology-driven innovation and to inspire them.

“Creativity and progressive thinking are at the very heart of what Kilkenny has to offer and we are delighted to be able to assist the Intel Foundation on the launch of this programme, and to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in their creative endeavours and to help create an environment in which our greatest asset, our people, can thrive,” Crockett said.

Intel has been involved in education since the company first came to Ireland in 1989 and in that time it has spent more than €25m driving programmes which support transformation in curriculum, infrastructure and teacher development.

“Entrepreneurship is fundamental to economic growth and it is important to first inspire entrepreneurship by inspiring innovation amongst young people who will be the key to driving this future economic growth,” said Brendan Cannon, director of corporate affairs, Intel Ireland.

“Core to this process is that the students are being given the opportunity to consider technology innovations that can address a very real and relatable problem. We hope that the students here today will become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs,” Cannon said.

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