Youth Innovation

Unleashing youth innovation to improve public services

Harness the energy and creativity of the youth to develop innovative solutions to development challenges through competitions, co- creation and incubation. Show more


hallenges to Sustainability of Youth-led Projects

Asif Ahmed, a final-year engineering student at Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, understood the problems that cardiac patients and their relatives had to endure. He had a concept paper on developing a low cost wireless ECG monitoring machine but did not have a way to try out his idea.

In Bangladesh, more than 60% of the population belong to the youth segment (i.e. between 15-35 years of age) and a significant percentage of them constitute university undergraduates. As part of their regular curriculum, these students conduct research projects, but there is not much effort in transforming the few ideas that came up into tangible solutions, let alone making those available nationwide.

Tertiary education institutions do not have the scope or mechanism for providing seed funding for rapid prototyping of solutions. In addition, the nation imports expensive foreign solutions to solve local problems. An opportunity to develop frugal localized innovations by providing seed funding to university students may address this issue.

Youth-led Innovation to Development Challenges

To make proper use of the students’ untapped potential, a2i has conceived a multi-pronged strategy for embedding the spirit of innovation among the youth and engaging them in identifying citizens’ problems and solving them.

As part of this strategy, a2i undertakes the following programs:

  • Solve-a-Thon: A multi-staged, team-based competition for students of public and private colleges, polytechnic institutions and universities. The contestants design and prototype innovative and implementable solutions to identified national problems.
  • Women’s Innovation Camp: A multi-staged, team-based competition for female students to propose and design innovative and implementable solutions to identified problems affecting girls and women. The two special features of this camp are its distinct focus on gender related issues and that girls are required to be the majority in each team.

In case of these competitions, the best prototype developers receive sponsorship and other kinds of support from relevant ministries and directorates. In addition, they can apply for a2i’s “Service Innovation Fund”.”

It was through participating in Solve-a-Thon 2015-2016 that Asif’s concept won the first prize and got assurance from a2i for implementation support through the relevant government agencies. Now young innovators like Asif have an opportunity to secure the support necessary to develop and test prototypes to solve national problems.

Cases and Stories

Artificial Limbs using 3D Printer

Sabrina, a former factory worker, lost one of her upper limbs in an accident. It has been four years she is unemployed and…

Artificial Limbs using 3D Printer

Sabrina, a former factory worker, lost one of her upper limbs in an accident. It has been four years she is unemployed and leading a miserable life. She neither can work at home nor get a job somewhere. She wants her normal life back but artificial limb implants are expensive and it has to be imported from abroad. The financial instability is not allowing her to dream of a normal life again. There are thousands of people like Sabrina who lost their limbs in mishaps and cannot afford artificial limb implant treatment. Prosthetic limbs made by 3D printer would provide a very cost effective service for victims like Sabrinaif the service is implemented in Bangladesh. Service Innovation Fund of A2Ihas introduced 3D Printer for producing artificial body parts that can be availed by people with physical disabilities. This initiative is solely for the purpose of serving unfortunate people like Sabrina.

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