Innovation Competition

The Rotary Club of Canterbury Innovation Competition aims to encourage youngsters to come up with innovative ideas.

The competition, which has been held for several years now, is run in association with local secondary schools and sixth-form colleges and other educational institutions, with the prizes being provided by local businesses.

What should the ideas be about?

We encourage youngsters to think “out of the box" and are looking for new ideas - or even new applications of an old idea. Ideas can be on any subject at all, provided they fulfil the objectives set out on our poster and in our rules (see below). 

You might start by thinking of something that is a real problem - for example the traffic congestion in Canterbury, or perhaps some aspect of the way your school is organised - and then come up with a new way of improving things. Or you might begin by having an idea for a new device or gadget.

What type of entries have there been in the past?

There are millions of possibilities for entries. In previous years we have had ideas including flashing toy boxes (to encourage young children to be tidy), a Swiss Army makeup kit, a way of opening public toilet doors without touching the handle, a sophisticated corrective writing device for disabled people, a simple way of getting the right angle for brushing your teeth, an automatic egg cleaner for poultry sheds and an amazing water-capture system for adventurous hikers.

What if I have the same idea as others?

Inevitably, some ideas are thought of by several people, so when you have your idea we suggest you look on the internet to see if something similar is already available, and try and work out why your idea is better.

Who can enter?

Entries can be from individuals or a team (of not more than four people).

At the date of submission, all entrants and all members of teams must be attending secondary school, 6th form college or equivalent in Kent or in such other areas as the organisers, in their absolute discretion, may extend the competition. 

How it works:

The competition will be judged by a panel of local people, all of whom have a science or technology background. Some have had a hand in developing new ideas and bringing them to the market.

Entries are made by email. Each entry is then scrutinised by the organisers and written enquiries may be raised; these aim to clarify what is being proposed. 

The panel of judges then considers all the written material and decides on a shortlist, based on the initial entry and response to the written queries.

Shortlisted entrants are then invited to give a short oral/PowerPoint presentation to the panel of judges and others at the final, during which they will be asked further questions about their idea in front of an audience. All entrants are invited to, and urged to attend the judging final.

After this the judges choose and award the winning entries.

Prizes:

There is a cash prize for the winner and two runners up:

  • 1st prize: £300
  • 2nd prize: £100
  • 3rd prize: £50

All other presenters speaking at the final will receive a consolatory prize of a book token.

All finalists will receive a certificate of participation.

After the judging, all shortlisted participants and others attending the final will be given advice on ways of exploiting and protecting their ideas.

How to enter:

There is no entry fee. All that is necessary is that your idea fulfils the objectives set out in our poster and rules. PLEASE read them very carefully, and make sure your entry complies with the requirements including those about form, submission and timing.

Click here to download our latest poster.

Click here to download our latest rules of entry.

Please read the rules for details of how to submit an entry and the submission deadline.

For queries, please contact: innovationcompetition@canterbury.ac.uk

Previous winners:

2019: 

  • 1st prize, Dover Grammar School, Sabrina Aime - Tech T-shirt with a built-in heart rate sensor
  • 2nd prize, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (QEGS), Faversham, James Kent - Easy-to-use transportation cradle
  • 3rd prize, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (QEGS), Faversham, Evie Curd - Environmental smart phone app
  • Special mentions: Lara Modi (Mat Master) and Lily Beckett (Needle-less blood test)

2018:

  • 1st prize, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for Girls, Faversham, Niamh Watts - Altruistic Watch
  • 2nd prize, The Langton Grammar School for Boys, Josh Matteson - Pivot
  • 3rd prize, Sir Roger Manwood School, Eve Pryde - Bee Bath
  • Special mentions: Joshua Jose, Ellie Reed and Laura Musselwhite-Dake/Chloe Nelson

2017:

  • 1st prize: Lawrence Coomber, Simon Langton School - 'Clip-on' coasters
  • 2nd prize: Oscar Cornall - Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School - 'Easi-grip' pegs

2016:

  • 1st prize: Joseph Billington, Simon Langton School - underwater goggle and nose clip attachment
  • 2nd prize: Elliott Palmer & Harri Roblin, Simon Langton School - USB+, a USB storage stick with small screen

2015:

  • 1st prize: Anna Blandford, Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School - ‘Kuti Cube’ toy storage device
  • 2nd prize: Tom Jefferies, Joe McInally, Jack Watts and Sam Pritchard, Simon Langton School - teeth and gum cleaning device

2014:

  • 1st prize: Verity Jones, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School - Swiss army makeup kit