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The Astellas innovation challenge

by Astellas

Summary of work

As a growing pharmaceutical company focused on frontier medical science, Astellas wanted to demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to supporting innovation in the UK. The need to build a skilled workforce of scientists and engineers is a key issue for future success.

To engage young people about the exciting potential of STEM careers, Astellas developed The Astellas Innovation Challenge, which tasked school children to develop a concept for a new smartphone app encouraging healthy living. The competition was supported by a series of app development workshops (including coding) run by experts at schools around the country.

Traditional and social media activity around the initiative achieved widespread coverage, with 55 million opportunities to see and company mentions in more than 90% of articles. 181 teams (900+ students) entered the competition. A shortlist of 11 teams pitched their health app concepts to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel of expert judges, including Countdown maths whizz Rachel Riley. The winning app, MyJar, devised to help improve mental well-being, is now in technical development.

As one teacher summed up, “I truly believe you influenced young minds to think seriously about STEM subjects with this challenge, which we all agree is vital to all our futures.”

Judges comments

This is work that sparkles: a clever idea that tackles the issue of getting kids into science. The creative and relevant strategy is backed by tactical ideas that were tailored perfectly to the audience.


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Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

Entry and dinner booking enquiries:
Charlotte Garnade
Tel: 01372 414253