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Vote for game-changing innovations from UK’s young talent in the Longitude Explorer Prize People’s Choice Award

Amanda Solloway

@nesta_uk and @NestaChallenges : Vote for game-changing innovations from UK’s young talent in the Longitude Explorer Prize People’s Choice Award

  • Nationwide competition for young people to develop tech solutions to the great challenges of our time announces new public vote.
  • Winning team of the People’s Choice Award will win £5,000 for their school or youth group.
  • 39 teams of innovative 11-16 year olds are in the running to win.
  • Despite school closures and lockdown, the teams have worked remotely with expert mentors to bring their ideas to life.

Today Nesta Challenges announces the launch of the new Longitude Explorer Prize People’s Choice Award. Since September, teams of young people aged 11-16 have been creating and developing technological solutions to some of the greatest challenges we face. Innovations in the running include robots that clean the ocean and devices to help young people take part in lessons remotely, to tech that helps isolated people connect with others and apps to help people lead healthier lives. The winners of the new People’s Choice Award will receive £5,000 for their school or youth group.

Nesta Challenges is calling on the public to get involved and vote for their favourite innovation. This is the first time that the public has had a say in awarding a winner in the three years the Longitude Explorer Prize has run. The online vote runs from today (19 June 2020) to 3 July 2020. The public can see all of the finalist ideas on the Longitude Explorer Prize website and vote for their favourite in the online poll. To vote, visit

The public will be choosing from teams that have made it to the finals of the 2020 Longitude Explorer Prize. After receiving hundreds of entries from schools and youth groups from across the UK, the 39 finalists were announced in March. Despite Covid-19, school closures and lockdowns, the finalist teams have continued to work remotely with the support of expert mentors and dedicated supervising adults to develop prototypes and models of their ideas.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “I have been impressed by the ingenuity, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit shown by the Longitude finalists – their bright ideas could make a real difference to all our lives, whether that’s robots to clean our oceans or new video technology connecting people who are isolating to tackle loneliness. 

“I encourage everyone to vote in the People’s Choice Award and I look forward to seeing who is named the winner next month.” 

Tris Dyson, Executive Director, Nesta Challenges said: “I’m very pleased to announce the new People’s Choice Award, the first time the public has been able to vote for a challenge prize winner. The Longitude Explorer Prize encourages young people, no matter their background, gender or heritage to grow their great ideas into real world solutions. We live in extraordinary times and we need game-changing solutions to help us live healthier, longer lives in an equal, greener, smarter world. The finalists are talented young entrepreneurs who have overcome the obstacles of lockdown and social distancing, to develop bright ideas that can make a real difference to the world around us.” 

The winning team of the People’s Choice Award will win £5,000 for their school or youth group to help further develop their innovative idea or invest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) and entrepreneurial resources.

In addition to the public vote, the teams will be submitting their final ideas to the Longitude Explorer Prize judging panel, which will meet virtually in July, with the grand prize winners earning £25,000 for their school or youth group and three runner-up teams earning £10,000.

Other ingenious ideas in the running for the Longitude Explorer Prize include systems that automatically sort recycling, wearable tech to make the world more accessible for people with disabilities, devices to help elderly people lead more independent lives, and intelligent transport systems that reduce air pollution and congestion.

The Longitude Explorer Prize from Nesta Challenges, in partnership with BEIS, supports young people to learn creatively about STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) whilst honing important entrepreneurial life-skills that do not usually get taught in the classroom. The prize encouraged entries from young people from across the whole of the United Kingdom, and from all different backgrounds.

To vote in the Longitude Explorer Prize People’s Choice Awards, search ‘Longitude Explorer’ or visit Young people, teachers and youth workers interested in the Longitude Explorer Prize can also register to keep updated about future opportunities to take part on the website.


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