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The CEC Youth Innovation Challenge

If you have questions about the process or scope of this challenge, contact the Challenge moderators:

Dominique Croteau
Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Does my idea fit the Challenge topics?

A: The Youth Innovation Challenge is seeking innovative ideas that provide a technology, science and/or business solution to a North American sustainability challenge. Still not sure if your idea is innovative? Then ask yourself whether your idea...

  • create better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, business models, marketing, supply chains and/or partnerships that will benefit both the environment and local communities,
  • contribute to the natural asset base of North American economies, creating green jobs and/or economic opportunities for citizens in North America, including local communities and Indigenous peoples, and
  • makes good business sense in terms of profitability and potential for growth.

If so, you should feel confident submitting it!

Q: How do I access the platform in my own language?

A: The Challenge website is available in English, French and Spanish. Simply go to your profile page and choose your language preference.

Q: Can teams of people enter the Challenge?

A: Yes. However, in the event that you win the Challenge, only one person can act as financial signing authority and only one person can travel to Mexico City, for the Council session in June 2019.

Q: I am concerned about intellectual property rights and patent rights over my idea – how can I protect myself?

A: During the Idea Phase, only a short summary of your idea is required so inclusion of any information that is subject to patent rights or IP need not be included. During the Proposal Phase, the Challenge has been designed to protect any proprietary information. Team members will work together to develop full proposals by filling in sections of a proposal template on the platform. While most sections of the template are public, one section is confidential so that only the CEC can access it. The confidential template section is where you should include any proprietary or sensitive information you do not wish to share publicly. If you have any doubts about the information you should or should not share on the platform, please contact the campaign moderators before posting that information.

Q: I submitted an idea for the 2018 CEC Youth Innovation Challenge. Can I enter again with the same idea?

A: Yes, submitters from the 2018 Youth Innovation Challenge are welcome to resubmit their ideas in 2019.

Q: Does the voting function on the IdeaScale platform improve my chances in any way?

A: No. The voting function is so members can express support for an idea, but the number of votes an idea receives will not be considered by the external evaluation panel.

Q: What should I do if I notice mistakes in the auto-translation of my idea?

A: Human translators will edit auto-translated content every week. If, after three or four days, the error persists, please contact the Challenge moderators.