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Students compete in marathon 24-hour challenge set by the European Commission


26 Nov 2009


Innovation & Enterprise

One hundred secondary school students from 25 countries are in Brussels today to compete in a marathon 24-hour challenge for which they must find creative solutions. The unique event is organised in the framework of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009.

Over a period of 24 hours teams of students of mixed nationalities from around Europe, will work together as they try to solve a real-life challenge which has been prepared by the European Commission and Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe especially for the event. The students attending the European Innovation & Creativity Camp have to quickly learn how to work together as they brainstorm possible solutions. They must develop their ideas as a team and come up with innovative solutions, which they will then present to the judging panel and invited guests in the Press Room of the Berlaymont, the EC headquarters on 25 November, at 15:00 – 17:00.

A team of European Commission staff is on hand to act as expert volunteer advisers for the students. They share their insight and experience to guide the students as they make key decisions about how to solve the challenge, and the volunteers encourage them to be creative in their thinking.

Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth will be attending the finale on the 25 th of November as a speaker and a judge, and later will announce the winners during the awards presentation.

The purpose of the special European Innovation & Creativity Camp is to help young people develop the traits and skills they will need to be competitive employees or entrepreneurs in the future. As Caroline Jenner, JA-YE Europe CEO explains; “As Europe’s workforce becomes more service and knowledge-based, educators, businesses and governments need to ensure that students are given opportunities like this to develop relevant skills. Teamwork and communication will be even more important in the future along with the ability to think critically and in innovative ways.”

Commissioner Šefčovič said: " This is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, so in judging the young, international teams for this marathon competition, I will be especially keen to see innovative and creative solutions. When 100 bright, motivated young Europeans get together in this way, I am sure we will have excellent winners, as the standard of the competitors is bound to be very high."

The Camp is organised by JA-YE Europe ( ), Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.1 million students in 38 countries in 2009. Funded by businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals, JA-YE brings the public and private sectors together to provide young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way. The JA-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission's Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. JA-YE Europe is the European headquarters for JA Worldwide.

Youngsters from t he following countries are participating in the European Innovation & Creativity Camp:


Belgium FL

Belgium FR


Czech Republic




















United Kingdom


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