Press Releases

Young Europeans Pitch Solution to Brussels' Traffic Challenges

Brussels, 15 May 2019

21 students from Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands and Romania came to Brussels to pitch their ideas to an international jury on how to upgrade and modernize the Brussels inner-city transport network in a cost-effective way, while reducing environmental impacts.

This event, hosted by the Romanian Presidency of the EU, was the Grand Finale of the Sci-Tech Challenge, a partnership between JA Europe and ExxonMobil. This programme is designed to motivate students aged 15-18 to consider Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)-oriented careers, raise their awareness of the importance of STEM skills and how they can be applied in enterprising ways to tackle the challenges of tomorrow. Furthermore, the programme helps raise awareness of energy-related issues and provides students with hands-on experiences in the application of STEM skills.

Following a national level competition, the winners of the Sci-Tech Challenge met in Brussels for the final stage of the competition.

The winning team from the Liceo Scientifico Alessandro Antonelli in Northern Italy proposed to solve Brussels’ traffic congestion problem by proposing a holistic, realistic, and applicable solution, combining an app for the users, new technology in existing transportation means and new types of vehicles.

“These young finalists all came with very creative ideas to solve a very complex challenge,” commented Nikolaas Baeckelmans, Vice President of EU Affairs, ExxonMobil. “After deliberating with the jury members, we agreed that the team from Italy put forward the most successful plan that would be innovative, potentially scalable, and with care for the environmental aspects. During every Sci-Tech Challenge with JA Europe, we are amazed about the ideas the young competitors come up and propose!”

“We are so happy and excited to have won this year’s Sci-Tech challenge, said Eleonora, Ramya, Federico, Matteo and Gaetano from the Italian team. This experience has taught us a lot, from science to skills, self-confidence and team work. Winning the challenge is the best recognition possible for all the work we have put into this project!”

This year, the partnership celebrates its 10th anniversary. Over the years, it has involved more than 65,000 students who have been supported by 1,700 volunteers from ExxonMobil. The volunteers have participated in classroom visits to talk about career choices. The young participants also took part in national Innovation Camps before being selected for the Brussels Grand Finale.

“We are delighted to celebrate the 10th year of our partnership with ExxonMobil. The Sci-Tech Challenge is one of the first STEM programmes in Europe, and has delivered incredible results for the thousands of European students who have taken part,” says Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe. “Congratulations to the winning team as well as all the ExxonMobil volunteers who once again have demonstrated the power of team work. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration and further inspiring young Europeans to pursue STEM careers”.

Sci Tech Challenge winners from Italy View photo gallery HERE

About JA Europe
JA Europe is the largest non-profit in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. JA Europe is a member of JA Worldwide, which for 100 years has delivered hands on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. JA creates pathways for employability, job creation and financial success.
Last school year, the JA network in Europe reached more than 4 million young people across 40 countries with the support of 140,000 business volunteers and 130,000 teachers/educators.

About ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest publicly traded energy providers and chemical manufacturers, develops and applies next-generation technologies to help safely and responsibly meet the world’s growing needs for energy and high-quality chemical products. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:
Sophie Norman
Policy & Communications, JA Europe

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