INVENT 2014: Your Chance To Change The World Part I

The Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton, recently provided a grim warning about the need for cuts in public spending. He stated his dislike for such cuts but didn’t offer a solution to the reality of reduced public sector spending.

On reflection, the Minister could have highlighted Northern Ireland’s long tradition of invention and the Northern Ireland Science Park’s recently launched INVENT 2014 competition.

INVENT 2014 is an initiative to find inventions with commercial potential in engineering, agri-food, life & health, electronics, enterprise software, and creative media & consumer internet.

The competition provides an opportunity for inventors to showcase their ideas and compete for a prize fund of £33,000 and a trip to California to meet potential partners.

At a time when public sector spending is squeezed, it is refreshing to see an initiative that gets to the heart of what drives the economy.

People have been inventing things since time began with the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel, electricity and the internet, as examples of developments that changed the world.

Yet, there has never been a better time to rediscover the inventor in us all and provides an ideal opportunity to do so.

Government policy highlights the need to rebalance the economy and so the creation and commercialisation of new inventions by a new generation of inventors is timely.

There is also an urgent need to increase the number of start-up and growth businesses with the ability to invent, grow and export their goods around the world.

One way to achieve such a vision is to engage more young people and develop their understanding of inventions and inventors, not least, as it will help them create jobs, build careers and generate prosperity.

With youth unemployment at more than double the average, it is crucial that we expose young people to the wealth generation possibilities of invention.

Young children are naturally curious and the early ability to explore and invent will help them to be creative, regardless of the path they choose.

The young people and students of today will, hopefully, become the inventors, job creators, entrepreneurs and wealth creators of tomorrow.

To this end, INVENT 2014 is welcome and serves to encourage young people and those young at heart to retain their curiosity about the world and how it works.

SO, at a time when we all need a lift provides a perfect platform to reinvent the world.

What do you think?

Can you change the world?

Look forward to your comments.