Porvorim: Aimed at identifying and rewarding talent in innovation and product design, the Goa State Innovation Council (GSInC) on Monday announced awards for school students who come up with solutions to critical challenges that society faces. Aside from a cash prize, the Goa government is also offering mentorship, training and incubation. “We want to encourage young students to take up something different, something related to technology. They have to bring the project and showcase it,” minister for science and technology Michael Lobo said. The Goa Young Innovator Award 2019-20 is open to all Goan schools, and students will compete under two categories — Classes V to VII and Classes VIII to X. The schools have to submit all entries by February 22 and the winners will be announced in March, Lobo said. Students can submit their ideas to their schools and, after vetting, the school will submit the product or innovation to GSInC along with a description of the technology used, sketches of the project and details of the students, GSInC chairman Jose Manuel Noronha said. Three winners will be picked from each category and they will receive mentorship and, if found viable, the state is ready to finance the patent process. “We want to give a platform for youth on how to innovate, commercialise a product, and get patents. We are giving an award under this scheme. We are also giving them mentoring and space at the incubation centre,” Noronha said.