Tipperary Secondary school students to present their innovative ideas at Europe’s largest science conference

Students from three second level schools across Ireland will be amongst the youngest exhibitors at this year’s Euro Science Open Forum 2012 in Dublin when they showcase their winning Green Dragon Secondary Schools Innovation Challenge ideas, at the event tomorrow. The students from Galway, Westmeath and Tipperary, will attend the Euro Science Open Forum in the Convention Centre Dublin where they will have the opportunity to meet with over 6,000 scientists, business leaders and Government officials from across Europe who are attending the event.

Earlier this year, these students participated in Agri Aware’s Green Dragon Secondary Schools Innovation Challenge where they were selected as category winners. Their innovative ideas included frozen vegetable ice-cubes for babies, a system to help seeds grow in drought conditions and a device to help reduce the risk of injuries caused by PTO’s.

Now in its third year, the Green Dragon Secondary School Innovation Challenge is an Agri Aware initiative supported by Bord Bia, AIB Bank and FBD. The initiative provides students with the opportunity to bring their innovative idea in the areas of Agriculture, Food, Environment or Health and Safety from concept stage through to the development of business and marketing plans. This year Teagasc have supported the Euro Science Open Forum element of the challenge which will enable the winning students to showcase their innovative ideas at the Teagasc stand. It will also provide the students with the opportunity to meet with visitors to the Teagasc exhibit and inform people about their Green Dragon experience.

Commenting on the showcase, Agri Aware Chairman Bernard Donohue said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for these young people to showcase the great ideas that they have and to meet with some very interesting people. Agri Aware is delighted that these Green Dragon winners will be able to highlight the talent and innovation skills amongst our young people to a larger European audience.”

Dr. Lance O’Brien, head of foresight and strategy development with Teagasc commented, “Teagasc is pleased to be a sponsor of the Green Dragon Secondary Schools Innovation Challenge and to welcome this year’s winners to our stand at ESOF 2012. We are delighted to be able to provide them with the opportunity to meet with and hear some of the world’s leading scientists who will attend the event. ”

Conor Gouldson, Company Secretary with FBD said.  “Ireland is a country of innovators and it is now more important than ever that we get behind initiatives that nurture the next generation of pioneers within the agri-sector. FBD continues to support projects that provide valuable platforms to foster the development of Irish youth and to facilitate growth within the wider European agri arena.”

Teresa Brophy, Manager Ireland Market, Bord Bia commented, “Ireland has such an abundance of natural food resources, so many of which are Quality Assured. The Euro Science Open Forum is a great platform for the students to showcase what they have learned about the high quality standards and traceability behind the Quality Mark, and how they have incorporated this into their winning ideas  ”

Anne Finnegan, Agri Strategy, AIB Bank remarked, “Showcasing their winning ideas at the Euro Science Open Forum is a very fitting reward for these innovative students. It is an opportunity to platform the creativity and innovativeness of Irish students to European scientists.”

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