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Sci-Tech Challenge: Student competition seeks to solve Brussels’ traffic congestion problem

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JA Europe and ExxonMobil held the seventh edition of the European Sci-Tech challenge aimed to encourage students aged 15-18 to consider Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) oriented careers and skills, and to advise how these can be applied in enterprising ways in today’s world.

Students from 10 Eurasian countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia and the UK) participated in the online competition jointly organised by JA Europe and ExxonMobil.

“The Sci-Tech Challenge has a dual aim. While it encourages young Europeans to use and develop their STEM knowledge by trying to solve real-world issues, it also intends to develop their entrepreneurial mindset and spur their innovative skills,” says Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe.

“In ExxonMobil, we believe that the key to the world's energy challenges lies in technology and innovation. The future of transport is one of the key European policy issues and Brussels traffic a prime example. With this year’s Sci-Tech challenge we want to tap into the innovative thinking of the next generation on this topic,” says Nikolaas Baeckelmans, VP EU Affairs of ExxonMobil in Europe.

The jury, composed of Mathias Dobbels from Brussels Minister of Mobility, Pablo Garcia from s3innovation, Nikolaas Baeckelmans from ExxonMobil, Jarle Tommerbakke from the EE-HUB and Malcolm McDowell from the European Commission, selected the best three teams to compete in the European Finale. Students from Belgium, Romania and the UK were chosen based on their outstanding innovative idea, excellent presentation skills and team spirit. Offering alternative ways of transportation, the three top solutions stood out for their optimal combination of feasibility, cost efficiency, and quick implementation. They deployed an integrated mix of technology whilst reducing cars in the city.

On 25 May, the European Grand Finale hosted by MEP Adina-Ioana Valean at the European Parliament in Brussels will reveal the winning team, in presence of the best three teams, business representatives and policy-makers.