More than 650 young innovators put forward their ideas for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Competition, which celebrates technology that can make a positive contribution to society and our planet.

Judges left in awe of revolutionary inventions, designed to help remove microplastics from polluted water and help farmers in Ghana increase crop yield.

 Samsung Electronics Co. (UK) Ltd has announced the winners of its third national Solve for Tomorrow Competition. This competition seeks to give young people in the UK & Ireland the opportunity to gain skills and receive top-tier advice from leading industry experts, giving them a roadmap for the future, and a creative space to develop exciting new technology for good.

In the 16-18 category, Joseph Birch, 16, from Bromley, Ben Sindall, 16, from Epsom, and Liam Bridgman, 17, from Beckenham, were awarded 1st place with OLEO, a device that removes microplastics from polluted water using waste cooking oil from fast food chains and restaurants.

Kiara Taylor, 24, from Sandhurst, Berkshire, was awarded 1st place in the 18-25 category with ReGrow, which repurposes e-waste to make a low-cost irrigation system aimed at farmers in Ghana to help them increase their crop yield.

Joseph, who was delighted to be part of the team that won the 16-18 category, said he wanted to turn his passionate views on microplastic into a reality.

He said: “We really hope we can further develop our idea and create an actual real-life product and business. We’ve worked with incredible people, like our mentor and some of the amazing people at Samsung – it has been such a great experience and we hope that continues.

“We think tech in the future will play an imperative role in how everyone lives their lives. If you look at the development even over the last 20 years with the first smartphone, all the way to the phones we have now, it’s grown at such as exponential rate, and it’s just going to keep evolving into new areas we haven’t seen yet.”

Kiara was thrilled to be crowned the winner of the 18-25 category and said: “This competition will allow me to develop my idea further, which will involve second round prototyping and testing, and looking at how to actually implement it in Ghana, which is my target country, which is obviously different to the UK, so that will be really interesting.

“I learned how to build a business, and especially as a young person, I don’t have that much industry experience, so it was really helpful meeting the mentors and experts who have done it already, and also meeting the other contestants who are all in the same boat as you.”

Using technology for social good

The Solve for Tomorrow Competition is designed for 16-25 years olds as part of Samsung’s key mission to use technology for social good. Every year, the competition is open to young people from all backgrounds with no experience or qualifications needed, empowering the next generation of creators and innovators to carve a new path in the tech world and drive positive change.

The core themes of the competition are solving obstacles related to Education, Sustainability, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Social Isolation. Each finalist has been through a series of workshops and received expert mentoring from a range of Samsung leaders, in areas spanning from Marketing to Connected Technologies to help hone their skills and develop their creative ideas.

Introducing the start-up summer school

Since last year, the prize offering has been enhanced, meaning the winners from each age group will receive £10,000 each, paired with three months of focused mentoring from the Startup Discovery School – a new programme that aims to help young people become entrepreneurs. The Startup Discovery School builds bespoke innovation programmes for startups and businesses that are solving global challenges, such as climate change and environmental and social sustainability issues. Throughout the competition, the Startup Discovery School designed and delivered workshops to the contestants to help expand their innovative capabilities. Two runners-up from each age category will also receive £1,000 each, to encourage the participants to continue to dream big and keep creating. All finalists will also receive a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.

An initial 24 ideas were selected for the semi-finals, and five finalists were selected from each category. The four runners-up in the 16-18 category are:

  • Venicheck: Alice Flanders from Buckinghamshire – Awarded 2nd place: A practice IV arm with veins for healthcare professionals to use in training.
  • Cashband: Henry Hudson from Yorkshire – Awarded 3rd place: A contactless wristband for homeless individuals that can be used to receive donations and make payments.
  • Care Connect: Lara Wong, Mihika Deshpande and Simone Banerjee from Surrey – Awarded 4th place: An app for caregivers of those with dementia, offering mental health support and connection.
  • GEA: Grace Jones, Peggy Gordon, Hannah Youds and Mia Smith from Cheshire – Awarded 5th place: A software programme for children in developing countries and neurodiverse children to overcome barriers to their education.

The four runners-up in the Solve for Tomorrow 2023 18-25 category are:

  • CarbonTrac: Yasmine Abdu from London – Awarded 2nd place: An app that uses AI to help shoppers make sustainable choices by tracking carbon footprint, suggesting eco-friendly alternatives, and rewarding users for making sustainable choices.
  • RoHo: Ysobel Emily Poppy from Nottinghamshire – Awarded 3rd place: Gloves that mimic the heat, pressure, and feel of handholding for those affected by social isolation.
  • Themis: Muhammad Omar Hijazi from London – Awarded 4th place: An app that helps students from disadvantaged communities with CV tips, access to internship opportunities, and developing technical and vocational skills.
  • CTRL BAND: Tom Christensen from Oxfordshire – Awarded 5th place: An armband that reads contractions in the finger muscles of amputees, turning muscle contractions into a digital signal that can be used as a computer input for gaming and typing.

Solve for Tomorrow originally launched in the US in 2010 and has since seen more than 2.3 million students take part from over 55 countries, in a quest to use technology as a force for good.

Paul Scully, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, who attended the Awards ceremony said: “It is truly inspiring to see our next generation demonstrate such passion for innovation. Technology is at the core of today’s society and not only can it be harnessed in the right way to empower people and the planet, but it also offers great future career options.  Competitions such as Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, provide a positive platform to promote new voices, ideas and talent. It’s brilliant to see a technology leader such as Samsung create these opportunities for our young people in the UK.”

Soohyun Jessie Park, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Samsung Electronics UK, said: “Solve for Tomorrow has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, fuelled by the unbridled talent and enthusiasm of our participants who raise the bar each time with their ideas to improve the world around them. This year’s competition has again encouraged us all to look at what is possible and push the boundaries using technology. We can’t wait to see where our winners take their ideas next.”

For more information on Solve for Tomorrow visit: