Innovative Youth

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Young people are eligible to participate who are

  • 15 years of age or older, or
  • not above the age of 20 on 31 December of the year of registration, or
  • at least in their 1st apprenticeship year

and are attending one of the following types of schools:

  • General secondary school (AHS),
  • Intermediate and higher-level vocational school (BMHS),
  • Austrian school abroad (see list at www.bmbwf.gv.at),
  • Polytechnic school (PTS),
  • Vocational school (BS).

Participation is voluntary. There is no legal claim to participate in the competition.

 

What topics can be submitted?

Participants can freely choose which matter to work on at Innovative Youth, which they can do so themselves or together with their teachers or instructors. However, it is important that the project topic can be assigned to one of the following categories of the competition:

  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Young entrepreneurs
  • Sustainability (special award category of the Raiffeisen Sustainability Initiative)

 

How many participants can work on a project?

Individual projects as well as group or class projects can participate. One student per team must be the designated project coordinator in the project application. However, only a maximum of four students in a group can be invited to the national final to present the project. For most international travel awards, only projects will be accepted that have a project team consisting of no more than two to three people.

 

What do I need to know before signing up the project?

  • The project team should deal with current issues, arising from the participants’ own ideas and experiences.
  • Gender and diversity aspects must be taken into account when choosing topics and putting together the team as well as for the design, implementation and documentation of the project.
  • Projects that have already been submitted to the Innovative Youth competition in the past are not eligible, even if the project expands the problem definition in the sense of a continuation.
  • When submitting projects, deadlines, dates and instructions on the form must be adhered to – please refer to the Project Report Instructions under Downloads at www.jugendinnovativ.at.
  • Submitted projects participating in the competition should be developed during the course of the current school year. Already completed projects or diploma theses cannot be considered.

 

What terms and conditions do the participants have to consider before participating?

In order to participate in the competition, personal data must be provided (as part of the registration and on the entry form). Participants undertake to provide complete and correct data (see the section “Privacy Notice“ below).

The award ceremony for the national final is part of an event at which the award-winning projects and project teams are presented to the public, with photos and videos taken of and interviews conducted with the award-winning participants. The first and last names as well as photos and videos of all finalists in the national final will be published in print and online media for public relations purposes.

The participants expressly agree to this.

 

What should be taken into account while working on the project?

  • All written documentation (e.g. project report, entry form etc.) must be made in German and the oral presentation in front of a jury is also expected to be done in German.
  • During the project preparation phase, in-depth research must be carried out with regard to intellectual property rights, licences and copyrights, all of which is to be documented in the project report (specific patent searches, planned or completed patent applications). The scope and presentation of the research results will be included in the jury assessment. For the necessary (worldwide) research work, we recommended that you write a concise project description in English. (This may also be required for participating in international competitions.)
  • The jury reserves the right to assign submitted projects to other categories for content reasons, if necessary.
  • Changing the project category during the ongoing competition may only be done after first consulting the competition management before March.

 

Which projects are not eligible for being entered?

  • Experiments and projects harming animals (animal testing) and that do not consider aspects of animal protection or animal welfare;
  • Projects that either endanger the participants themselves or others, such as experiments with explosives, drugs or radioactive substances;
  • Projects or documentations that merely compile literature;
  • Projects that are a pure application or programming of known user interfaces (websites, apps, etc.) without any reference made to the categories, i.e. only the application of known software;
  • Projects that do not show any recognisable contribution by the students themselves and are mostly carried out by the teaching staff or experts.

 

How is the project evaluated?

The submitted projects are evaluated by an independent jury consisting of experts from various specific fields pertaining to the individual categories. The criteria are weighted differently within each category. The jury’s decision cannot be reversed. Any recourse to legal action is excluded.

 

According to which criteria are the submitted projects evaluated?

To evaluate the project report in the main categories, the experts of the jury use the following criteria:

  • The genesis of the idea (origin or source of the creative content, own field of experience, external idea generator)
  • Degree of innovation of the technology or service (further development, novelty, innovative character, exceptional field of application)
  • Creativity and originality (idea, solution, uniqueness)
  • Knowledge gain or benefit for future application areas, customers, and socio-political, social or ecological effects
  • Commercial use or customer benefit (marketability, feasibility, profitability or plausible realisation concept, social compatibility)
  • Project competence (report on project coordination, the management and the cooperation in the project or the project team as well as presentation of the individual skillsets in the team and the interactions)
  • Written presentation of the project (quality, definition of objectives, formulation of the idea, research question, method, theoretical background, patent research, usability, resource planning, presentation of the results in the format common to the field, project diary, etc.)

 

The following criteria apply to the evaluation of project reports in the special award category Sustainability Award:

  • The genesis of the idea (origin or source of the creative content, own field of experience, external idea generator)
  • Creativity and degree of innovation
  • Presentation of the ecological and socially relevant results
  • Relevance of ecological, social and economic sustainability
  • Joined-up thinking, cooperation with external partners
  • Project competence (report on project coordination, the management and the cooperation in the project or the project team as well as presentation of the individual skillsets in the team and the interactions)
  • Presentation of the entire project implementation or project work and the economic aspects

 

All projects that make it to the national final will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Creativity and originality (idea, solution, uniqueness)
  • Degree of innovation of the technology or service (further development, novelty, innovative character, exceptional field of application)
  • Commercial use or customer benefit (marketability, feasibility, profitability or plausible realisation concept, social compatibility)
  • Presentation and relevance of ecological, social and economic sustainability (only for special award Sustainability)
  • Further development of the project, or progress in technology or content, or even the final version of the exhibited project
  • Project competency – Oral project presentation at the exhibition booth in front of the jury, and booth design
  • Team competency

 

What are the prizes?

The five best projects in each category will receive a cash award and international travel prizes. The main categories are funded by the two sponsoring ministries. The special award category is supported by the Raiffeisen Sustainability Initiative, which is especially concerned with promoting young talent.

 

Main categories for cash prizes
The following cash prizes will be awarded to the best projects in the main categories:

  • 1st prize EUR 2,000
  • 2nd prize EUR 1,500
  • 3rd prize EUR 1,000
  • Recognition awards EUR 500 each

The jury reserves the right to give out additional special awards to outstanding projects. In addition, the jury reserves the right to divide categories with lots of submissions according to specifications and to award additional places and with it cash prizes, such as in the engineering category.

Cash prizes for the special award category Sustainability Award of the Raiffeisen Sustainability Initiative

The best projects of the Raiffeisen Sustainability Award are rewarded with up to
EUR 5,500 and will be awarded together with the winners in the main categories at the national final.

  • 1st prize EUR 2,000
  • 2nd prize EUR 1,500
  • 3rd prize EUR 1,000
  • Recognition awards EUR 500 each

 

Audience awards

For this award, the visitors of the national final choose the most innovative project out of all categories of the competition. The audience awards are endowed with a total of EUR 1,000.

 

International travel prizes

Innovative Youth knows no boundaries and enables selected award winners each year to participate in international competitions, trade fairs and study trips. While staying for several days and up to a week in Europe, the US and Asia, the project teams will network with valuable international contacts and have the opportunity to present their project worldwide and to achieve success once again.

You can find current international travel prizes on www.jugendinnovativ.at.

 

How do you register yourself and the project?

The basic requirement is that all project participants read the terms and conditions of participation and accept them together with the declaration as regardsprivacy notice and terms and conditions of participation. Usually starting in October, the login area is opened up for registration and project sign-up at www.jugendinnovativ.atorhttps://einreichen.jugendinnovativ.at.

 

Step 1 – Registration & administration

As soon as the project idea is born, a responsible person must first register online: Log in at www.jugendinnovativ.at

The registered person will be sent an automatic online registration confirmation to the e-mail address provided during registration (according to the login data) and is therefore the responsible administrator. Only this person can now register projects and has sole access to the IY inbox in the login area.

NOTE! The registered person will receive all information about the competition only in the IY inbox in the login area online. This person should be either the project coordinator (student) or the project adviser (teacher) or a person involved in the project and must also regularly check their personal e-mail or the IY inbox and pass on the information to the team.

 

Step 2 – Signing up

Only registered persons (administrators) can sign up and edit the project during the registration period. After all fields of the entry form have been filled out and saved and then sent, the signed “declaration as regards privacy notice and terms and conditions of participation” must be uploaded. Only after the entry form has been sent and the signed declaration uploaded will you be effectively signed up. Afterwards, changes can no longer be made.

 

In the login area under “my projects”, the project(s) can be viewed at any time. If information about the competition is made available in the IY inbox in the login area, notifications will be sent to the administrator and all specified persons will be in carbon copy (i.e. they will be cc’d).

 

What should be taken into account when signing up?

In addition to the details of the participating school or teaching establishment and the participants, the following should be filled out as specifically as possible:

  • Title
  • Category & specification (changes to the category can be made until the beginning of March!)
  • Project goal
  • A short description of the project including highlighting what makes the project so innovative
  • The project’s industrial property rights or the situation with regard to exploitation
  • Information on the digitalisation aspects of the project

NOTE! For the sign-up to be valid, a signed “declaration as regard privacy notice and terms and conditions of participation” must be uploaded.

Sign-up tips can also be found online at www.jugendinnovativ.at.

 

When and how do I find out if I am eligible to participate in the competition?

After the registration phase, all projects will be reviewed for the formal criteria of Innovative Youth and all participants will receive a confirmation or rejection (IY inbox in the login area) to participate in the competition.

 

How does the project enter the assessment for competition?

One project report per project must be uploaded (according to the instructions) in the login area by the beginning of March at the latest in order to qualify. The reports will be reviewed by
austria wirtschaftsservice for completeness, and the degree to which the evaluation criteria was fulfilled will be ranked. The best 10 to 15 project works per category will be submitted for review and evaluation to the assessment panel, consisting of one expert jury per category.  

The ranking and the result of the jury are the deciding factor for which projects are shortlisted. This result will be announced to the participants in the login area.

The semi-final projects (the best projects at state level) and the final projects (the best projects per category) will be presented to the media as part of the public relations for Innovative Youth.

 

What happens at the national finals?

Before the winners in the individual categories and the special award category are determined, the teams of the final must exhibit their project results at the national final in Vienna at the exhibition booth and present them orally to the members of the expert juries. Afterwards, the jury members will make a decision on the final places and which projects will be nominated for international travel prizes.

The highlight of the national final is the ceremony announcing the best or most innovative projects of the competition round. The cash and travel prizes will be presented before the relevant federal minister. For some project teams, the next few months will be filled with excitement as they participate in international competitions, trade fairs and study trips.

The project exhibition as part of the national final is open to the public on the last day of the event.

 

Where can I find the current dates and deadlines?

They can be found at www.jugendinnovativ.at before the beginning of a competition.

 

Which project topics can participate in Innovative Youth?

Participants can freely choose which matter to work on at Innovative Youth, which they can do so themselves or together with their teachers or instructors. It is important, however, that the project deals with a current topic, is based on own ideas and experiences and fits into one of the following categories of the competition. The additional specification within the category is intended to assist with properly assigning the project.

Please note: Changing the project category during the ongoing competition may only be done after first consulting the competition management before March.

 

Categories and specifications:

DESIGN

  • Graphic and communication design
    (advertising, graphics, illustration, packaging, media design)
  • Object design (without technology, e.g. packaging)
  • Product or industrial design (with integrated technology)
  • Textile and jewellery design with creative production techniques
  • Furniture or room design (interior design)
  • Social design – need-based and user-driven design
  • Interdisciplinary use of multimedia, photography and audio-visual media, as well as media design (film, animation and game design)

 

SCIENCE

  • Natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)
  • Bionics (natural phenomena for technology)
  • Geography and spatial sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Humanities and social sciences including technology assessment (effects of technological change on humans and the environment)

 

ENGINEERING

Engineering I

  • Mechanical engineering and mechatronics
  • Industrial engineering (control and optimisation in production or process flow)

 

Engineering II

  • Electrical engineering and electronics
  • Information and communication technology* (innovative technical solutions based on the latest hardware and software technologies)
  • Building and wood technology
  • Materials engineering
  • Foodstuffs technologies
  • Agriculture and forestry

 

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

  • Business concepts (original business ideas with marketing potential including business plan)
  • Analyses, surveys, studies on market opportunities or sales opportunities for existing, improved and/or completely new products or services
  • Innovative business, social or ecological tourism projects
  • Social project ideas with added value for society (social business)
  • Exceptional event or awareness measures in the non-profit sector

 

SPECIAL AWARD IN THE SUSTAINABILITY CATEGORY

  • Renewable energies
  • Environmental technology
  • Building services engineering
  • Social projects in combination with climate protection aspects
  • Ecological, social projects in combination with financial products
  • Increase in energy efficiency
  • Awareness measures on environmental issues

*NOTE: Apps can enhance and complement the range of solutions for many of the major challenges we are facing today and in the future. That is why Innovative Youth no longer sees apps as a separate focus. Instead, their use and benefits are now awarded and valued in all categories. This means that mobile apps can be submitted not only in the category Engineering II but in all categories if they contribute to solving issues in the area of focus.

 

What is the #digisquadbonus?

All project teams from all categories participating in the competition will get the chance to win a €300 #digisquadbonus for the most original one pager on the digital aspects of the submitted project, which is uploaded in addition to the project report. That goes for all projects that are registered and signed up online at www.jugendinnovativ.at in the login area or are eligible to participate in the competition.

 

How does one apply for the #digisquadbonus?

You must sign up the project on time and have received a participation confirmation. To get the chance to win the €300#digisquadbonus, the one pager on the digital aspects of your project must be submitted with a project report by the beginning of March. Without a project report, the one pager cannot be uploaded.

 

How and when are the winners of the #digisquadbonus selected?

austria wirtschaftsservice will review all one pagers that are uploaded by the submission deadline for completeness and will use the following evaluation criteria:

  • Creativity and originality
  • Relevance for the further development of the project
  • A written presentation (formulation of the digital aspects, quality, theoretical background)

Acceptances or rejections for the #digisquadbonus can be seen digitally in the login area three to four weeks after the application deadline. The #digisquadbonus will be paid out to the specified account right away.

 

Which dates and deadlines must be observed for the #digisquadbonus?

They can be found at www.jugendinnovativ.at before the beginning of a competition.