CHERTSEY, England, November 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
- TV presenter Rachel Riley crowns winners of the Astellas Innovation Challenge™, a health app-design competition to inspire school students to take up STEM subjects and careers
- The winning team will work with professional developers to see their app brought to life in the hope of contributing to the health of the nation
- Winning idea, MyJar, is a mental wellbeing health app that stores your favourite photos and memories, and keeps them all in one place
Rachel Riley - TV presenter and Oxford Maths graduate - proudly announced the victors of the inaugural Astellas Innovation Challenge™ and awarded prizes for first, second and third place winners alongside competition ambassador and host Dr Kevin Fong and Astellas CEO, Ken Jones. The competition asked students aged 14-16 to design a mobile app to encourage healthy living, with an aim to increase interest amongst school students in taking up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at university and beyond.
The winners, from St Paul's Catholic College, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, South East England, claimed victory with an impressive idea designed to support mental wellbeing through storing individual's favourite photos and positive memories in one place. The team will now see if their innovative thinking can contribute to improving the health of the nation, as their mobile app is brought to reality by professional developers and made available for free download by the UK public.
A total of eleven teams, who excelled over entrants from across the UK, were invited to present their health app ideas to a panel of expert judges, including campaign ambassador Rachel Riley, Astellas CEO Ken Jones and experts in app development, education, science and healthcare at the Royal Institution in London on 25 November.
"The quality of entries for the Astellas Innovation Challenge was outstanding. Each team showed great awareness of real challenges to healthy living and true creativity in utilising mobile technology and innovation to create solutions," said Rachel Riley, TV presenter and ambassador to the Astellas Innovation Challenge. She continued: "Mobile apps are transforming the way we manage our health and how healthcare is provided. Through this competition we have seen school students make some incredible applications of STEM skills to encourage healthier lifestyles and I hope this illustrates the variety of career pathways STEM studies can enable."
Highlighting the need for initiatives to empower young people to engage with STEM subjects is recent YouGov research conducted amongst British 11 - 16 year olds.The research revealed that British school children have high aspirations to be innovative, 33% said they would like to one day own their own business and 31% said they would like to have a job focused on coming up with new ideas and developing new technologies. The Astellas Innovation Challenge has provided a platform to support 14-16 year olds to connect with STEM subjects in a new and engaging way.
"As an organisation employing people with a range of STEM expertise, Astellas knows exactly how important these subjects are and we are proud to organise and fund initiatives like the Astellas Innovation Challenge," said Ken Jones, President and CEO of Astellas Pharma EMEA. "We are very excited by the potential of the winning app to encourage healthy living in the UK and it is our hope that all the talented young innovators who entered the competition are inspired to continue developing their STEM abilities into the future. These skills can open doors to a wealth of exciting careers and are key to the future of the UK's thriving knowledge-based economy."
Dr Kevin Fong said, "I have first-hand experience of how exciting and rewarding a career in science can be and that is something I'm very keen to pass on to the next generation of innovators and scientific pioneers. Seeing the enthusiasm and creativity of the finalists today has been inspiring and filled me with optimism for the future of science and technology in the UK."
In addition to taking the top spot, members of the team from St Paul's Catholic College will each receive an iPod Touch and an educational grant of £1,800 to invest in STEM subjects at their school. Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy, East Midlands, which came second in the competition with an app called Stress Genie, designed to alleviate stress and provide coping mechanisms to deal with stress, will receive an educational grant of £1,000 and an iPod Touch for each team member. Third placed, The Liverpool Blue Coat School in the North West - whose app, called AmiGO! is designed to encourage young people to keep fit, have also been awarded an educational grant of £250 for their school.
Astellas is committed to improving lives by providing innovative medicines in areas of health where there is great unmet medical need and also in supporting people for a healthy future.
Notes to Editors
About the Astellas Innovation Challenge
The Astellas Innovation Challenge is an exciting competition across the UK, for 14-16 year old students, that was launched to encourage and empower young people to engage with and pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers. Through an engaging practical challenge using STEM-related skills, the Astellas Innovation Challenge aims to inspire the next generation of innovators by providing school students with the opportunity to design a mobile app to encourage healthy living.
The winning team will see their concept brought to life by professional app designers and developers.
For more information on the competition visit the website http://www.astellas.eu/innovation-challenge.
About the YouGov survey
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 589 school students aged 11 to 16. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8 - 15 August 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British school students aged 11 to 16.
Key survey findings
Total Male Female Regions North Midlands East London South /Scotland /Wales School students interested in STEM subjects 83% 92% 74% 16% 16% 13% 23% 17% School students likely to take STEM subjects on to higher education 37% 47% 26% 35% 37% 49% 33% 37% School students who would one day like to start their own business 33% 36% 31% 34% 37% 35% 30% 29% School students who would like a job focused on coming up with new ideas and developing new technologies 31% 39% 22% 33% 24% 32% 28% 34% School students that own a smartphone 87% 83% 90% 86% 86% 78% 80% 94% School students that use apps at least once a day 77% 73% 82% 78% 76% 73% 73% 82% School students that like to chat and socialise with friends online using a mobile phone, a tablet or laptop 70% 65% 75% 69% 70% 72% 65% 71% School students with 11 or more apps on their phone 70% 72% 67% 71% 71% 69% 65% 69% Who has had the biggest impact on the way school students live their everyday lives? Steve Jobs 46% 53% 39% 43% 46% 54% 54% 45% Sir Tim Berners-Lee 28% 32% 23% 18% 32% 30% 36% 33% Martin Cooper 3% 5% 2% 4% 2% 4% 3% 5% Simon Cowell 13% 10% 17% 13% 12% 19% 12% 14% Mark Zuckerberg 44% 50% 38% 38% 49% 51% 47% 44% David Beckham 18% 18% 17% 19% 16% 19% 19% 15% Miley Cyrus 8% 4% 12% 8% 10% 10% 5% 7% Emma Watson 4% 2% 7% 4% 3% 3% 5% 5% Daniel Radcliffe 6% 6% 5% 8% 3% 6% 5% 6% Rihanna 4% 3% 5% 6% 5% 1% 7% 1% Justin Bieber 4% 5% 4% 4% 4% 7% 8% 1% One Direction 9% 4% 14% 9% 11% 10% 9% 7% None of these 15% 14% 15% 16% 17% 8% 11% 15% Don't know 11% 10% 13% 13% 9% 9% 8% 14%
About Astellas Pharma EMEA
Astellas Pharma EMEA operates in 40 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is the EMEA regional business of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceuticals. The organisation's focus is to deliver outstanding R&D and marketing to continue growing in the world pharmaceutical market. Astellas' presence in Europe also includes an R&D site and three manufacturing plants. The company employs over 4,500 people across the EMEA region. In 2013 Astellas was awarded SCRIP Pharmaceutical Company of the Year in recognition of its commercial success and pipeline development.
 Data on File. Children YouGov Omnibus Survey, conducted between 8th - 15th August 2014
SOURCE Astellas Pharma EMEA