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RBC announces Next Great Innovator finalists

TORONTO, February 24, 2009 — RBC today announced the five team finalists for The 2009 RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge™. All five finalists are from Ontario universities— the University of Waterloo, York University's Schulich School of Business, Ryerson University and two teams from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

"We received quality submissions from 24 schools across Canada this year and these five finalists represent the best of the best," says Avi Pollock, head, Applied Innovation, RBC. "These five submissions truly reflect what this challenge is all about - applying ideas that draw on their diverse backgrounds, prior experiences and knowledge of the global marketplace to a Canadian financial institution."

This year's Challenge asked university and college students from across Canada to "Suggest an innovative concept, product or process from another region or different industry that Canadian financial services providers should adopt." Working in teams of three or four, students were asked to submit a unique and innovative idea related to the Challenge.

Here are the five team finalists and a synopsis of each of their innovative ideas:

deriviateDesign (Rotman School of Management, U of T) - Combine the online and real world in a training game to increase Canadians' financial literacy and remove the fear of facing financial matters.

Team ASPIRE (Schulich School of Business, York) - Adapt a novel and very popular form of bond issue from the U.K. to the Canadian financial services industry, blending savings and investing with human behaviour.

Team RICE (MBET, University of Waterloo) - Apply banking practices consistent with the principles of Islamic law to student lending.

Team Omega4 (Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson) - Apply artificial intelligence techniques and a rich user interface to create an intuitive, adaptive online virtual financial advisor.

Umatuma Asia (Rotman School of Management, U of T) - Match RBC business client's services to the needs of other RBC business clients and adapt innovative client services models, similar to models used in Asian banks.

Proposals were evaluated by the RBC Applied Innovation team and narrowed down to the top 15 submissions. The RBC Innovation Council reviewed these 15 submissions and selected the top four teams as finalists. The fifth finalist was chosen after more than 20,000 votes were submitted through a peer-voting selection process, in which the Council invited the public to choose the last finalist from five Challenge submissions.

The national winner will be awarded $20,000, second place will receive $10,000 and the three other finalists will receive $5,000 respectively.

The top five teams will be evaluated by the RBC Next Great Innovator judging panel consisting of some of RBC's top executives. The final evaluation and awards ceremony will take place on March 5, 2009, when RBC's Next Great Innovator will be announced. All finalists will be featured on The Next Great Innovator Challenge website at: www.nextgreatinnovator.com.

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For more information and to book interviews, please contact:
Jackie Braden, RBC, Media Relations, (416) 974-2124


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02/24/2009 10:42:55