THE Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge 2016 hopes to inspire Malaysians between 13 and 16 years old to come up with creative ways to address the pressing issue of poverty.
Centred on the theme, “People, Planet and Prosperity”, Sime Darby Bhd wants to inculcate the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth, said its group chief strategy and innovation officer Hari Nair.
“We felt it was important to foster this among the youth in Malaysia, who are the future leaders and innovators of this country.
“We are trying to bring this conversation on innovation to a much larger audience and the competition acts as a catalyst.
“I believe some very interesting ideas will come out of this and hope some of them will be implemented through small scale or pilot projects,” he said.
That particular age group was chosen as it was a stage of life in which students would start thinking about their future careers, said Group Strategy and Innovation senior vice-president Rafiza Ghazali.
“Submissions will not be limited to any particular form to encourage creativity.
“The children can submit their ideas through videos, essays or even sketches,” she said.
A panel of judges will shortlist the best 200 entrants for a 4D/3N regional workshop in Penang and Malacca from March 13 to 16, followed by two more in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching from March 16 to 19.
The youths will form teams of five and learn about the importance of empathy, interviewing skills as well as how to pitch ideas.
“The camps will provide them with skills to help turn their ideas into reality and address issues in society,” she said.
Winning teams from each of the four regional camps will then be eligible for the National Workshop, which will be held in the Klang Valley from May 29 to June 2.
“Our goal is to make this a yearly event and provide a platform to inspire them to build a movement for innovation in Malaysia,” said Hari.
The National Workshop will include site visits, talks by experts as well as in-depth training to allow participants to expand and develop their ideas further.
The winning team for the national challenge will be awarded RM10,000 in total, as well as a MacBook for each team member.
The second place team will receive RM5,000 in total, with each team member receiving an iPad, while the team in third place will receive RM2,000 in total and an iPad mini per team member.
Closing date for submissions is Feb 21.
For details, go to www.sdyounginnovators.com