Limerick students take flight 30 years into future at event in Shannon Airport

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

The last ITLG event saw the check-in area at Shannon converted into an innovation hub

The last ITLG event saw the check-in area at Shannon converted into an innovation hub

ALMOST 1,000 students from across Ireland have touched down at Shannon Airport this Thursday for a unique challenge for young business people.

The third annual Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) young innovators challenge is taking place at the airport.

But while they are gathered at the airport, holidays are far from the students’ minds as they are being asked to come together and innovate and develop new solutions which will shape the way we live in the year 2050.​

The pilot projects will then be presented to top investors, including Barry O’Sullivan, Johnson and Johnson, and Dragons Den stars, Gavin Duffy, Eleanor McEvoy, Chanelle McCoy and Alison Cowzer.

Mentors including Dr Paddy Finn of Electricity Exchange, Kelly O’Brien, CDK and Pinpoint’s Chris Kelly, will get on board with the students and make sure the Dragons are impressed.​

“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 Corbally man John Hartnett, who is 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.”

Limerick Institute of Technology president, Dr Vincent Cunnane said: “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 event.”

Local companies and organisations including Carambola Kids, Innovate Limerick, the 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.