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News Releases


RBC launches search for Next Great Innovator

Challenge asks Canadian students to think globally

See also RBC Social media release

TORONTO, September 23, 2008 — RBC today launched its third annual Next Great Innovator Challenge, asking students to: "Suggest an innovative concept, product or process from another part of the world or different industry that Canadian Financial Services providers should adopt."

"With Canada's innovation performance receiving a near failing grade according to a recent Conference Board of Canada report, it is critical for Canadian businesses to promote and foster a culture of innovation in order to compete on the global stage," said Avi Pollock, head, Applied Innovation, RBC. "The Next Great Innovator Challenge exemplifies the importance of innovation. It offers RBC the opportunity to tap into new points of view and new ways of thinking. We feel this year's Challenge question will allow students to apply their diverse backgrounds, prior experiences, and "on the ground" market knowledge."

Working in teams of three or four, students must submit a unique and innovative idea that addresses the Challenge question. Teams must register their intention to submit a proposal online before October 26, 2008. All completed proposals must be submitted by December 5, 2008.

Submissions will be evaluated by the RBC Applied Innovation team and narrowed down to the top 15 submissions. These 15 submissions will then be reviewed by the RBC Innovation Council and the top four submissions will be chosen. The Council will also select five additional submissions for the peer voting selection process. A short synopsis of each entry that is eligible for peer voting will be posted on www.nextgreatinnovator.com and the entry receiving the most votes in the voting period will be chosen as the fifth finalist in January 2009.

The top five teams will compete for over $45,000 in prizes and receive an all-expense paid trip to Toronto for the opportunity to meet with and present their ideas to a judging panel that includes senior RBC executives. The final evaluations and awards ceremony will take place in March 2009 in Toronto.

The winning idea from the 2007 Challenge, which focused on personalizing the banking experience, is currently being tested internally by RBC's Applied Innovations team.. RBC's student peer-to-peer (p2p) information exchange site - www.rbcp2p.com - is an initiative based on an idea from the Challenge's first year.

The Challenge also leverages several web 2.0 and social media tools to keep students engaged and up to date. With tools including text alerts, Twitter, a blog, online workspaces as well as team and university profiles, this year's website for the Challenge provides even more ways for students to collaborate with one another as well as communicate and gather feedback from RBC and their peers.

For more information on the Next Great Innovator Challenge, visit www.nextgreatinnovator.com.


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For more information, please contact:

Jackie Braden, RBC, Media relations (416) 974-2124


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09/23/2008 13:44:32