Samsung recently announced the winners of its national Solve for Tomorrow Competition.
Now in its third year, the competition provides young people in the UK and Ireland an opportunity to develop skills and receive guidance from industry experts, empowering them to create innovative technology for social good.
In the 16-18 category, Joseph Birch (16), Ben Sindall (16), and Liam Bridgman (17) from Bromley, South East London, secured the first-place position with their project called OLEO. This groundbreaking device utilises waste cooking oil from fast food chains and restaurants to remove microplastics from polluted water, addressing a pressing environmental issue.
The 18-25 category winner, Kiara Taylor (24) from Sandhurst, Berkshire, developed ReGrow. This project repurposes electronic waste (e-waste) to create a low-cost irrigation system designed to improve crop yield for farmers in Ghana.
On receiving the award, Joseph expressed his delight in being part of the winning team for the 16-18 category, stating his eagerness to turn his passion for combating microplastics into a tangible reality. Liam added that technology will continue to play a vital role in the lives of individuals, evolving in ways that have yet to be seen.
Kiara highlighted the value of the competition in helping her develop her idea further. She emphasised the significance of meeting mentors and experts who provided guidance on building a business, especially for young individuals lacking industry experience.
Solve for Tomorrow
Solve for Tomorrow aligns with Samsung’s mission to use technology for social good by empowering the next generation of creators and innovators through education, sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion, and social isolation.
Finalists participated in workshops and received mentoring from Samsung leaders in various fields to refine their skills and ideas.
This year, the competition prize package was enhanced. Each winner from the different age groups received £10,000 and three months of focused mentoring from the Startup Discovery School, an initiative supporting young entrepreneurs.
Runners-up from each category were also awarded £1,000 each to encourage their continued pursuit of innovative ideas. Additionally, all finalists received a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The Solve for Tomorrow Competition originated in the US in 2010 and has since engaged over 2.3 million students from 55 countries, harnessing technology as a force for positive change.
Paul Scully, the Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, who attended the Awards ceremony, expressed admiration for the young generation’s passion and innovation. He commended Samsung for creating such opportunities and promoting new voices, ideas, and talent in the UK.
Soohyun Jessie Park, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Samsung Electronics UK, applauded the participants for their exceptional talent and enthusiasm, noting the competition’s growth over the years. Park expressed anticipation for the future endeavors of the winners and their groundbreaking ideas.
Meet the competition
Five finalists were chosen in each category from an initial selection of 24 ideas for the semi-finals. In the 16-18 category, the second-place award went to Venicheck, an IV arm practice tool for healthcare professionals created by Alice Flanders from Buckinghamshire.
Henry Hudson from Yorkshire secured third place with Cashband, a contactless wristband for homeless individuals to receive donations and make payments. Lara Wong, Mihika Deshpande, and Simone Banerjee from Surrey claimed fourth place with Care Connect, an app providing mental health support and connection for caregivers of dementia patients.
GEA, a software programme developed by Grace Jones, Peggy Gordon, Hannah Youds, and Mia Smith from Cheshire, aimed at overcoming educational barriers for children in developing countries and neurodiverse children, secured fifth place.
In the 18-25 category, CarbonTrac, an app by Yasmine Abdu from London, secured second place, providing AI-driven sustainable choices to shoppers. Ysobel Emily Poppy from Nottinghamshire claimed third place with RoHo, a glove that simulates handholding to combat social isolation.
Themis, an app developed by Muhammad Omar Hijazi from London, secured fourth place, assisting students from disadvantaged communities with CV tips and internship opportunities.
Tom Christensen from Oxfordshire secured fifth place with CTRL BAND, an armband translating muscle contractions into digital signals for amputees to use as computer inputs.