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We’ve already written about how Dutch Technology Week focuses on emerging talent, but De Ontdekkingsfabriek’s invention competition for primary school pupils shows that the talent scouting can’t start early enough.

Children from groups 7 and 8 (the last two years of primary school) in 10 districts of the Brainport region can take part in Jouw Slimste Idee 2015 (Your Smartest Idea). This year’s theme is the World Expo, where countries showcase their latest developments. This is where the first ever telephone was presented to the world. Milan will host this year’s World Expo between May and November. So the question for the students is: can you think of an invention that could be unveiled in Milan?


Two participants this year are Sem and Thomas. They have come up with a robot friend called Proen. This robot can do pretty much anything: carry books for the two friends during their four years of high school, show them the way with its in-built navigation system – and it even has a lava lamp on its shoulder, so there’s no need to be afraid of the dark anymore. “You know what else is handy? Proen’s legs are foldable. He can go on the back of your bike or in the car. Oh, and he’s also very smart. He can give a tour of the World Expo!” explain the two budding inventors.

sem en thomas Sem and Thomas show off their Proen

Entries can be sent in until 10 May and finalists will be announced on 15 May. Each district will send one invention to the final, which will take place at de Ontdekfabriek on 5 June. That’s where we will find out who the best inventor is. There will also be a prize for the idea with the most votes.

Children who don’t yet have an invention but would still like to take part can get the inspiration for a great idea from the special ideas machine.