About the Awards
First introduced in 2000 as the Prime Minister's Awards for Innovation & Invention and now rebranded as the Prime Minister's Awards for Scientific Ingenuity, this competitive scheme was introduced to augment and highlight the intrinsic creativity of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, specifically in the realm of science and technology. It recognises and rewards persons from all walks of life who demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in this arena. The awards have been restructured to achieve a greater focus on novelty, youth and entrepreneurship.
The Awards scheme is an important mechanism for spurring local innovation and invention across all sectors of the national community, which is imperative in light of Government's push to develop a highly diversified, knowledge-based economy founded on the creative genius of our people. The human mind is the most valuable resource for resolving the complex development issues that now threaten continued growth and prosperity worldwide. Building creative and innovative capacity is the key to Trinidad and Tobago generating new and sustainable sources of wealth, reducing dependency on the oil and gas sector, and creating employment.
The first competition in 2000 challenged individuals and teams to create functional prototypes of their creative ideas. In 2002, another awards category, the Bright Solutions Competition, was added to facilitate entrants who had creative ideas but were unable to carry them to the prototype stage. This aspect of the competition was aimed at promoting creative solutions to community problems, combining the entrants' imagination with science and technology and the utilisation of local resources. In 2006/2007, the Bright Solutions Competition was replaced with the Design Challenge Competition which added more rigor to creative problem-solving and to give emphasis to this objective, the competition has been renamed the Creative Solutions Competition.
Currently the awards are presented on the basis of two competitions:
- Scientific Innovation and Invention Competition - which focuses on working prototypes of creative ideas or concepts; and
- Scientific Creative Solutions Competition - which focuses on creative ideas or concepts without a working prototype.
The competitions are separated into two age categories:
- Juniors (13- 17), and
- Seniors (18 & over).