Young inventors challenged to tackle poor air quality

A new government-backed competition is challenging 11-16-year-olds to develop apps and technology that help tackle poor air quality.

The extra-curricular Longitude Explorer Prize, run by NESTA Challenges, will begin in September with first-round winners given the chance to work with expert mentors from industry.

They will then be offered the chance to test their ideas in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch to experts with the chance to win cash prizes of up to £10,000 prize for their school.

The future of mobility and clean growth are two of the four ‘Grand Challenges’ identified in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and innovations need to be readily accessible for people around the country to help new technology and innovation can benefit all corners of the country and sections of society.

Entries from the previous NESTA pilot scheme include a device connecting to mobile phones to measure air quality.

Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore said: ‘Becoming greener, ageing healthily, cleaning up our transport and how we use AI and big data, they are today’s grand challenges and opportunities that can put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.

‘This new competition will not only help thousands of young people seize these opportunities but also become the next generation of digital entrepreneurs to stay at the global cutting edge of innovation – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.’