Next Big Idea



Sponsored by RS components, The Next Big Idea is a competition taking place during the AFBELive! conference. The competition will focus on driving innovation in three sectors:

  • Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering and technology: This includes research or ideas exploring the impacts of diversity and inclusion on hiring practises, admissions, etc. Possible topic areas include:
    Strategies to improve diversity and inclusion in engineering and technology fields and Innovations in hiring practises to promote inclusion
  • Innovations in Engineering and Technology: Do you have some exciting research that you are working on that could use some more support? Is there a new product you have thought of but need help to actualise it? Possible topic areas include:
    Research findings that can shed a new light on fields like clean energy, health science, climate change, or any of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG’s) and New product ideas addressing any of the SDG’s.
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on minoritized groups in Education and Employability: This category will highlight research relating to how schools and workplaces have been affected by or adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    o Possible topic areas include: How COVID-19 has shaped educational outreach, How COVID-19 has altered workplace or hiring practises, How COVID-19 has broadened or widened gaps in education for different racial groups etc

This competition is open to entrepreneurial or academic ideas

The three top students and three top professional ideas will be chosen from each category. Chosen ideas are invited to pitch their ideas to key decision-makers actively leading their respective categories at the AFBELive! conference.

Prizes include £750, £500, and £250 cash price for the top three student pitches. Winners of the professional stream will be matched with personalised entrepreneurial mentorship to bring their ideas to life!

Important Dates

  • March 15, 2022: Notices are sent to successful applications
  • April 22, 2022: Competition Date

Submit your idea by 1st March 2022 here and you could win prizes and mentorship sponsored by RS components

“Access to diverse employees and strategies on improving diversity in the work place ”

“If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.“

“Bringing the best minds in engineering and technology fields together to share ideas and collaborate ”