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Shannon Airport to be transformed into ideas hub for 2050 as ITLG Young Innovators to be held there on Thursday

12 November 2018

Winning Young Innovators Fly to Silicon Valley for ITLG Internship Programme

Shannon Airport, a hub of aviation innovation for 80 years, will on Thursday next become an ideas center for 1,000 students from across Ireland as they envisage solutions that will shape the country up to 2050.

The airport terminal building will be transformed for the 3rd ITLG Young Innovators Challenge in partnership with Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and supported by Shannon Group – Shannon Airport’s parent company – as well as Aer Lingus as students combine their considerable brain power to imagine the innovations that will have changed the world by the mid-point of the century.

The event will see students get the benefit and guidance of mentors such as EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Dr Paddy Finn of Electricity Exchange, RooMigo's Ed Burke, Kelly O'Brien of CDK and Pinpoint Innovation’s Chris Kelly.

The students will be challenged to create solutions to improve the way we will live in the year 2050 and will then pitch their innovative solutions to leading Irish investors, including RTE ‘Dragons’ Barry O’Sullivan, Gavin Duffy, Eleanor McEvoy, Chanelle McCoy and Alison Cowzer.

“With the rapid pace of technology and change, it is vital that we continue to innovate and create solutions to challenges our world faces. The societal challenges of the future are the focus of this ITLG Young Innovators challenge,” said John Hartnett, Founder and President of the ITLG. “We want to stimulate skills such as problem solving, creativity, concept development and presentation within the young people attending, and give them a true experience of innovation and entrepreneurship at work.”

Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT commented, “We’re very proud to have driven Young Innovators since the beginning. This event reflects much what LIT is about – excitement, passion, innovation, the intersection between academia and real-world expertise. It’s great to see students and teachers practice innovation skills and opening doors to the possibilities of the future.”

The winning ITLG Young Innovators team will be awarded with an enviable ITLG Internship, which includes return flights to San Francisco sponsored by Aer Lingus, site visits to Silicon Valley’s fastest growing tech startups as well as innovation stalwarts like Google and Intel. The winners will meet ITLG investors and mentors and truly have an experience of a lifetime that should stand to the students and their careers in the future.

Speaking at the launch of the ITLG Young Innovators Challenge, Chairman of Shannon Group, Rose Hynes said, “This event represents a huge opportunity for our young people, to share their ideas with successful global entrepreneurs and to understand that they can unlock their own potential and succeed on a global scale by being creative and innovative.  We are delighted to be partners in the ITLG Young Innovators event.”

Taking place during Science Week 2018, the ITLG Young Innovators event is community-driven with technology companies like Dell, Modular Automation, J&J, Kemp, WP Engine, Jaguar Landrover and more from Limerick for Engineering supporting the event, showcasing and sharing the very latest in STEM technology.

Local companies and organisations including Carambola Kids, Innovate Limerick, Limerick Chamber of Commerce and Shannon Chamber of Commerce have also lent their support, and University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, Foróige and CoderDojo form part of the steering group as well as taking part on the day helping to make this a very exciting event for students, teachers and industry.

Aer Lingus Communications Director, Ruth Ranson, said she “is delighted to once again sponsor the ITLG Young Innovators competition. Ireland has a very strong and growing technology sector. Competitions like the ITLG Young Innovators are fantastic for nurturing young Irish talent and encouraging careers in this increasingly relevant field and help to reinforce the strong links between the tech industry in Ireland and the US, which is home to so many of the world’s leading tech companies. We’re looking forward to flying the winners over to Silicon Valley this year and wish each young innovator the very best of luck.”

ITLG Young Innovators event has been designed and developed by LIT and ITLG. Support for ITLG Young Innovators is also being provided by Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, as well as Department of Foreign Affairs and the Ireland Funds San Francisco.

About ITLG
The ITLG is a global Irish network of technology leaders dedicated to fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and economic success. ITLG’s charter includes supporting the growth and development of Irish technology companies seeking to leverage both the US marketplace and the US technology investment community; supporting US technology companies based in Ireland to ensure that Ireland continues to be a strategic area of R&D investment and opportunity; advancing innovation and entrepreneurship through mentorship, university partnerships and government engagement; and expanding the global Irish diaspora network to support entrepreneurial success and raise the profile of brand Ireland. The key focus areas of ITLG are Entrepreneurship, Women in Leadership, Education, and Young Innovators.

About ITLG Young Innovators, Powered by LIT
The ITLG Young Innovators programme originated from the “Global Irish Economic Forum” at Dublin Castle in 2013 as a key initiative to build a “culture of entrepreneurship & innovation” across Ireland. ITLG Young Innovators was launched in 2014 and repeated biennially since then. The Young Innovators event is designed to answer the vision and goals set out in “Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025” and the “Action Plan for Education 2017” to promote the development of 21st century transversal skills.

About LIT
Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) is a multi-campus institute of higher education and is one of the largest of 14 institutes that are members of THEA – The Technological Higher Education Association of Ireland. It is at the forefront in ensuring that Ireland’s modern economy continues to have the requisite array of leading-edge skills demanded by our knowledge-based industries and provide programs that reflect current and emerging knowledge and practices, and promote self-management, critical analysis, decision making and entrepreneurship.

About Shannon Group

Shannon Group plc is a commercial semi-state company focused on delivering economic benefits for the West of Ireland and the wider national economy. It brings together three companies, Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties and Shannon Heritage. Established on 5 September 2014, it provides air transport and aviation services at Shannon Airport, supports the growing aviation cluster at Shannon through the IASC brand, harnesses its property and land assets owned by Shannon Commercial Properties, and offers visitors a range of heritage tourism options through its tourism company Shannon Heritage.

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