BT extends partnership with BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition until 2020
BT Ireland has extended its partnership with the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition until at least 2020. The 53rd annual Exhibition, opened today by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, marks the 17th year under BT’s stewardship.
Since its inception in 1963 by Dr. Tony Scott and the late Fr. Tom Burke, almost 85,000 Irish secondary school students have entered the Exhibition, showcasing their original ideas and inventions as part of one of the world’s largest and longest-running science fairs. The event provides a platform for young people with a passion for science and technology and is designed to nurture local talent and skills for the workforce of tomorrow. Its alumni have gone on to launch commercial enterprises, earn international recognition for their ideas, and forge successful careers in critical STEM subject areas.
Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Group said, “We are honoured to extend our commitment to the exhibition for an additional two years. As a vibrant digital hub, Ireland depends on local tech talent and a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship to drive its economy. BTYSTE is one of the most significant grassroots STEM initiatives in the world, bringing together schools, businesses, government and academia with the shared goal of nurturing that future pool of home-grown talent. The exhibition is also making an impact beyond Ireland with the success of its winners in the EU Contest for Young Scientists and with the roll out of the Exhibition in Tanzania and Kenya.”
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, said, “I welcome BT’s continued investment in the Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Their ongoing support of the exhibition is a great example of business working in partnership with government and the education system to develop and nurture STEM skills at secondary school level. The Exhibition has gone from strength to strength with more projects entered in 2017 than ever before, and I am looking forward to meeting the students when I visit the Exhibition later this week. Through our Action Plan for Education, which aims to make Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe within a decade, I want to see more students studying science, technology, engineering and maths. The exhibition has a huge impact and gives so many students an interest and a passion for science.”
Since BT took over the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in 2001, it has evolved considerably, adding new elements including the BT Business Bootcamp, a festival of science surrounding the core competition, a partnership with An Gaisce – The President’s Award, and the introduction of a new Alumni Showcase in 2017.
Dr. Tony Scott, co-founder of the exhibition, said, “We are delighted to have secured BT’s support until at least 2020. BT shares the YSTE board’s vision to instil and nurture a passion for STEM subjects from an early age, and to provide a platform to showcase Ireland’s talented young people on a national and international stage. We’re excited to continue to develop and grow the Exhibition for many more years to come.”
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions. Close to 200 BT’s employees in Ireland run the exhibition each year, making the partnership one of the largest corporate responsibility initiatives in this market. BT’s valued partners in delivering the exhibition include the Department of Education and Skills in the Republic of Ireland, the Department of Education Northern Ireland, Analog Devices, Intel, Perrigo, and RTE.