Inspiring the next generation of healthcare entrepreneurs

May 11, 2017

  • Working with local education charity SATRO, mentors and judges put their weight behind the Next Big Thing Challenge, with teams from groups at local schools thinking up what might be the next big innovation for Siemens Healthineers.

Young entrepreneurs from schools across Surrey showed off their business skills in the Siemens Healthineers Next Big Thing Challenge. Under the guidance of a team of mentors for the business, students were tasked with developing solutions to a variety of high level challenges faced in the healthcare environment and UK market.

The challenge encourages Key Stage 4 students to find out more about the world of engineering and technology. It develops skills in idea development, planning and problem solving and exposes students to exciting career opportunities.

The school children presented their prototypes to the judges on Friday, 5th May at the Siemens Healthineers offices in Frimley.

The schools that participated were: Charterhouse, Gordon’s, LVS Ascot, Reading Girls School and ACS Cobham. Around 8 students from each school attended. The winners of the challenge were Gordon’s School in Woking.

Following the success of previous years, this is the ninth year Siemens has run the challenge with SATRO. It is designed to encourage, inspire and motivate students to make the active choice of a career in some aspect of Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics and is open to Key Stage 4 (14-16 years old) students.

Teams were provided with a brief to look into Healthcare, with an aim to develop ‘The Next Big Thing’ on the topic. The students were asked to produce a prototype or scale model to demonstrate the idea and provide evidence of market research and a basic understanding of their market needs. Siemens Healthineers employees were allocated to each team to act as mentors and visited the schools to support and give direction to the students.

The entries included:

  • A stop watch with an antibacterial spray to suppress the spread of diseases and to monitor health and fitness
  • A device using Nano-technology to perform diagnostic checks before irreversible damage is done to the body
  • An app and a device to support deaf and blind people with obstacle recognition
  • A mobile application with the ability to help people concerned with the development of Alzheimer’s or people in the early stages. Two versions: one for patient, one for doctor.

The winning team, Gordon’s School, proposed a device that would use silver to make water safer to drink.

Siemens Healthineers has a long history of developing innovative technology and is pleased to be contributing to an activity, which demonstrates Siemens' commitment to enthuse young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Peter Harrison, Managing Director of Siemens Healthineers, said: “Working with local organisation SATRO, this programme enables us to operate a broad, inclusive and effective method for encouraging pupils to understand the link between Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills at work.”

SATRO is an education charity which inspires and involves young people aged 5 – 19 across the region about the world of work and business through a broad range of hands-on programmes and challenges delivered in schools and colleges.