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The app to make you happy!

In 2014 a call went out to 14-16 year olds across the UK. The mission: to design an app to encourage healthy living.

Over 900 students from across the UK entered the ASTELLAS INNOVATION CHALLENGE™ . They were all bursting with enthusiasm, originality and creativity, but it was the concept put forward by five 15-year old students from St Paul’s Catholic College in Sussex that ultimately shone through: the MEMORY STAR app.

  • Memory Star App.
  • App Store.
    Google Play.

Why we need young innovators

The ASTELLAS INNOVATION CHALLENGE is an exciting competition for 14-16 year-olds across the UK. Launched to inspire the next generation of innovators, it encourages young people to engage with STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and related careers.

In 2014, teams of school students were tasked with creating a mobile app to encourage healthy living. The winning entrants would see their concept brought to life by professional app developers and made available to the UK public for free download.

Over 900 students entered the competition, generating a wealth of outstanding – and brilliantly innovative – ideas. Entries were awarded marks across four categories:

  • Creativity
  • Methodology
  • Impact
  • Quality of the entry

The top entries were shortlisted and the teams invited to showcase their ideas before an expert panel of judges – and their fellow competitors – at the finals of the ASTELLAS INNOVATION CHALLENGE, which was staged at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The Finals

Eleven teams were shortlisted for the finals of the ASTELLAS INNOVATION CHALLENGE . They were invited to present their ideas for a healthy living app to the panel of expert judges which included: doctor and broadcaster Dr Kevin Fong; ASTELLAS INNOVATION CHALLENGE Ambassador Rachel Riley; Astellas EMEA President and CEO Ken Jones, and experts in app development, education, science and healthcare.

The winners were a team of five 15 year-olds from St Paul’s Catholic College in Haywards Heath, Sussex – Sacha Botting, Dominique Froud, Jack Gumm, Gemma Kelly, and Zuzia O’Donoghue. They triumphed with their idea for MEMORY STAR. The app is a ‘virtual memory jar’ that allow users to upload uplifting photos and messages, creating a ‘constellation’ of happy memories.

In addition to seeing their MEMORY STAR concept brought to life by professional app developers, each member of the team received an iPod Touch. St Paul‘s Catholic College was awarded an educational grant of £1,800 to invest in STEM subjects.

Second place was awarded to the team from Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy, East Midlands with Liverpool Blue Coat School coming third.

The Finalists

Find out more about all the finalist teams that participated in the competition final here.

Photo Gallery

Click to view photos from the final.


Here’s a video explaining why the Challenge is important and why MEMORY STAR was chosen as the winning entry

Watch the video

Watch a video about MEMORY STAR, the app that lets you create a private 'constellation' of happy memories to give you a boost on difficult days.

Watch the video

The Winning App

MEMORY STAR, the winning entry in the ASTELLAS INNOVATION CHALLENGE, was conceived by a team of five 15-year olds from St Pauls Catholic College in Haywards Heath. The app is designed to help people make the most of positive experiences and memories.

This simple but clever app allows users to upload uplifting photos and messages, creating a “constellation” of happy memories they can turn to in the future when they’re feeling down.

The team came up with the idea after noticing that the ‘share everything’ culture of social media was putting stress on young people of their age, and even becoming a source of anxiety. Their observations have since been backed up by new research which shows that a third of young people worry about negative responses when they post happy thoughts and memories on social media sites.

MEMORY STAR does not have a ‘share’ function or encourage users to post images to social networks. Instead it emphasises reflection to enhance self-esteem. With MEMORY STAR you can look over your happy memories without any need to worry or feel self-conscious: its sole aim is to make you happy.

MEMORY STAR is now available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Read more about MEMORY STAR

References: [1] Data on File. Children YouGov Omnibus Survey, conducted between 8th – 15th August 2015

App Store.
Google Play.

Supporting innovation through STEM education

Astellas is dedicated to finding innovative ways to support people across the world to live healthier lives. Pharmaceutical companies are often at the cutting edge of medical science and Astellas recognises the value of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers in driving future innovation.

The ASTELLAS INNOVATION CHALLENGE organised and funded by Astellas, aims to encourage and empower young people to pursue STEM subjects and careers. Astellas believes that STEM subjects equip young people with skills and qualifications that are vital for the future of the UK’s knowledge-based economy. The competition further demonstrates Astellas’ commitment to improving lives and supporting people for a healthy future.

Astellas claims no ownership in, nor any affiliation with, any third party trade marks appearing on this website. All third party trade marks are owned by originating companies. Any such third party trade marks are used only to identify the products and services of their respective owners, and no sponsorship or endorsement on the part of Astellas should be inferred from.

October 2015