Scotland's brightest social innovators announced

Three Heriot-Watt students have been recognised in this year's Young Innovators Challenge. Garry Boyle, Johnathan Curry and Maria Silies were among 33 winning entrants, with each securing up to £2,500 in cash to further develop their concepts.

Proposals ranging from how supermarkets can reduce waste to a system based on aircraft technology that tells drivers how to drive more effectively, are among the ideas to have been awarded the winning prizes in the Young Innovators Challenge 2014.

Highlights from the winning entries include:

  • A warning system for children with diabetes
  • A diner to help rehabilitate and support homeless people
  • A system for cafés to recycle coffee waste to help gardeners

The Young Innovators Challenge is organised by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, the body which encourages students across Scotland to start their own businesses.

The Young Innovators Challenge 2014 focused on social innovation to help address issues which affect our communities and entries were welcomed in three categories; health and wellbeing, green and sustainable energy, smarter communities and infrastructure.

The standard of entries was inspirationally strong. As a group of judges we felt it truly uplifting to see Scotland's young people not only identify real social issues, but to also bring potential solutions to those problems.

Tony Banks, judge

The competition was open to anyone in Scotland over the age of 18 and studying at college, university or an apprenticeship programme.

This year's competition attracted more than 300 entries, half of which were shortlisted and put before the expert judging panel of; Tony Banks, chairman of Balhousie Care Group, Josh Littlejohn, organiser of the Scottish Business Awards and creator of the Social Bite, and Susan Aktemel, Director of Homes for Good (Scotland).

The 151 shortlisted entrants were then asked to compile short videos for the judging panel to explain their ideas in greater detail.

The 33 winning teams and individuals will now attend an exclusive residential Bootcamp and workshops to develop their ideas further.