Youths’ Creativity Inspires Actionable Solutions for the Future

Melaka, 16 March 2016 – Within a month of its launch, Sime Darby Berhad’s inaugural Young Innovators Challenge 2016 has received tremendous support from young, budding innovators. The Challenge, which aims to cultivate the spirit of innovation, was kicked off with youths in Malaysia between the ages of 13 and 16, submitting their ideas to address the global issue of poverty.

At a prize-giving ceremony held here today, the top three teams received cash prizes amounting to RM5,000. Similar ceremonies were held in Penang and Negeri Sembilan while Sabah will hold its own event on 19th March. The top teams from the four Regional Workshops will proceed to compete in the National Workshop in June.

Held from March 13 to March 19, 2016, the Regional Workshops which were fully funded by Yayasan Sime Darby and organised by a leading social innovation firm, saw the participation of close to 200 youths from across the nation whose entries were shortlisted from the hundreds of creative entries received.

The entries which came in various forms including videos, essays and illustrations, were assessed based on the level of creativity demonstrated as well as the maturity of the ideas. The feasibility of the ideas and the benefit it can potentially have on society was also evaluated.

During the Regional Workshops, participants were divided into teams of five or six and exposed to various elements of innovation including Ideation, Design Thinking, Prototyping, Leadership and Entrepreneurship. The teams were assisted by trained facilitators.

Teams also received guidance from Faye Jong Sow Fei and Azizulhasni Awang, both of whom represent exemplary achievements on the global stage. Faye Jong Sow Fei, the first and only Malaysian to have an asteroid named after her as a result of her accomplishments through a project funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Agency (NASA), the United States Air Force and the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory, served as a role model to the aspiring innovators at the Penang, Melaka and Sabah Workshops. Azizulhasni Awang, the world’s third ranked men’s keirin cyclist who recently qualified to represent Malaysia at the Rio 2016 Olympics, acted as a mentor and a source of support and inspiration to the participants at the Negeri Sembilan Workshop.

Tan Sri Dato' Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, Governing Council Member of Yayasan Sime Darby said, “The Sime Darby Young Innovators Challenge is a unique programme that challenges the participants to think of real life solutions. It is an educational campaign to promote the cultivation of innovative mindsets among youths where it complements the Government’s nation building agenda by developing the country’s human capital.

This is aligned with our aim to empower youths in Malaysia with the fundamentals of innovation while challenging their creativity. We want to empower them with various elements of innovation including design thinking, prototyping, leadership and entrepreneurship.”

Commencing May 29, the winning teams will participate in a five-day, four-night workshop where they will work on developing a real-world solution to address poverty and be in the running to be crowned the National Innovator Champion.

The grand announcement of the winning team will take place during an Awards Ceremony at the National Workshop. The winning team will go home with a prize money of RM10,000 as well as other exciting prizes including a MacBook for each team member. In addition, second and third placed teams will also walk away with great prizes that includes cash and iPads.

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Last Updated:
05 Jan 2018
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