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Millennium Youth Prize: Adam Yousfi wins with his work on water pumps

The Millennium Youth Prize was held for the second time this year, and the top prize of EUR 5 000 went to Adam Yousfi from the science and technology stream of Kulosaari General Upper Secondary School. His work on water pumps was a response to the challenge of removing society’s dependence on carbon. The jury rated the author as a modern day Da Vinci and noted the impressively high standard of the technological solution proposed.

In the Millennium Youth Prize competition, innovators under the age of 19 take on global sustainable development challenges.

The second-place prize (EUR 3 000) went to Indra Halviala from Ressu General Upper Secondary School and third place (EUR 2 000) went to Martta Matinaho and Saara Matinaho from Tapiola General Upper Secondary School.

In the competition, young people sought solutions to four global sustainable development challenges presented by Aalto University professors. The students could submit their entries to the competition as either a written report, video or prototype.

The winners of the Millennium Youth Prize, organised by Aalto University and Technology Academy Finland (TAF), were revealed in the competition final, which was broadcast online on 9 October 2020. The winners were elected by a jury composed of members of Aalto University and TAF, and this jury was chaired by Aalto University’s Vice President for Research Ossi Naukkarinen. The criteria used for evaluating the competition submissions were scientific quality, imagination, creativity, innovativeness and feasibility.

According to Naukkarinen, the challenges were very demanding and all the finalists’ proposals were excellent. He believes that all the finalists have a great future ahead of them as innovators. Many of the submissions also generated interesting follow-up questions.

The Millennium Youth Prize seeks out innovations that improve life on our planet and inspire young people to work with technology and innovations. The competition is modelled on the international Millennium Technology Prize.

Winning teams’ proposals

Adam Yousfi / Kulosaari coeducational school, general upper secondary school, science and technology curriculum: Hydroelectric pump


Indra Halviala / Ressu General Upper Secondary School: Use of giant kelp and algae scrubbers to remove microplastics and nanoplastics from sea water



Martta Matinaho and Saara Matinaho / Tapiola General Upper Secondary School: Bivalve molluscs as a solution to marine plastic problems



The new Millennium Youth Prize challenges will be published on 13 November 2020 at aaltojunior.fi.

Photo: Adam Yousfi working on his project / Aalto University.

Read more about how Technology Academy Finland encourages young people to share and innovate their ideas on solving global challenges Young Researchers Interested in Innovations and Technology – Millennium Technology Prize (millenniumprize.org)

Partners of the Millennium Technology Prize