New funding and mentoring opportunity launched to support young innovators in Cornwall

Posted on 18th January 2024 by

Applications are now open for the brand new Young & Talented Cornwall Spirit of Trevithick Award, giving the county’s next generation of innovators the chance to kick-start their careers and achieve their potential.


The funding and mentoring opportunity is designed to support youngsters showing outstanding promise in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and has been born from Cornwall’s thriving innovation sector which covers everything from geoscience and space technology to mineral development and offshore power. It celebrates the wealth of opportunities available in the county and seeks to inspire the ‘Richard Trevithicks’ of the future.


The Award is the latest initiative of Young & Talented Cornwall, The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund which since 2005 has provided grants of over £400,000 to budding stars of tomorrow across a wide range of skills areas. Sponsored by pioneering local businesses Cornish Lithium and Wildanet, as well as Exeter University, the Fund particularly seeks to support those facing social barriers, personal challenges or financial restraints.


Successful applicants will be matched with an established Cornwall-based company or innovator for invaluable mentorship, expert advice and guidance. They will also be given access to a cash award of up to £2,000 for the development of a particular project, or to contribute to a specific piece of equipment that contributes to their career development.


The Young & Talented Cornwall Spirit of Trevithick Award brings together some of Cornwall’s most esteemed professionals from the science, engineering and technology sector, including Ian Jones, CEO of Goonhilly Space Station who as Award Curator will chair the panel assessing applications.  Ian is supported on the grants panel by John Evans, Principal of Cornwall College; Professor Camille Bonneaud, Director of the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter; Caitlin Gould, founder of TECwomen and Matthew Kenworthy Gomes, astrophysicist and CEO of Cornwall Pride.  Chair of Young & Talented Cornwall, Colonel Sir Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant Cornwall, also joins the panel alongside Professor Alan Livingston, former Vice Chancellor of Falmouth University.


Following the launch of the award at Goonhilly Earth Station, Ian Jones commented: “Cornwall has a rich heritage full of pioneering feats which combined with a culture for doing things differently has created a modern-day hotbed for innovation. In this far-flung peninsula, we are leading the way with cutting-edge technologies and pushing boundaries in research and scientific advancements.

“The Young & Talented Cornwall Spirit of Trevithick Award champions the innovators of tomorrow and aims to inspire youngsters to reach for their dreams, whatever their background.”


Colonel Sir Edward Bolitho added: “The Spirit of Trevithick Award taps into a fresh sense of curiosity and discovery among the county’s youngsters and encourages them to apply their brilliant minds to the future of Cornwall. Through this first-of-its-kind award, we aim to build aspirations in science, technology, engineering and maths and nurture talent which in turn will help develop our ground-breaking industries.”


The first round of the Young & Talented Cornwall Spirit of Trevithick Award is now open to 16 to 23-year-olds, with applications closing in March. For more information, head to Spirit of Trevithick Award – The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund (