RBC asks Canadian students to think globally

The Royal Bank of Canada launched its third annual Next Great Innovator Challenge today, asking students to suggest an innovative concept, product or process from another part of the world or different industry that Canadian Financial Services providers should adopt.

“With Canada’s innovation performance receiving a near failing grade according to a recent Conference Board of Canada report, it is critical for Canadian businesses to promote and foster a culture of innovation in order to compete on the global stage,” said Avi Pollock, head, Applied Innovation, RBC.

“The Next Great Innovator Challenge exemplifies the importance of innovation. It offers RBC the opportunity to tap into new points of view and new ways of thinking. We feel this year’s Challenge question will allow students to apply their diverse backgrounds, prior experiences, and “on the ground” market knowledge.”

Working in teams of three or four, students must submit a unique and innovative idea that addresses the Challenge question. Teams must register their intention to submit a proposal online before October 26, 2008. All completed proposals must be submitted by December 5, 2008.

The top five teams will compete for over $45,000 in prizes and receive an all-expense paid trip to Toronto for the opportunity to meet with and present their ideas to a judging panel that includes senior RBC executives. The final evaluations and awards ceremony will take place in March 2009 in Toronto.

The winning idea from the 2007 Challenge, RBC’s student peer-to-peer information exchange, is currently being tested internally by RBC’s Applied Innovations team.