James Dyson Award invites entries from problem-solvers with big ideas

April 20, 2018

James Dyson Award officially opened for entries recently. Each year, Dyson – British inventor, industrial designer and founder of the Dyson company – and his team of engineers and scientists hunt for solutions to real world problems. The brief is simple: design something that solves a problem, big or small. The prize: £30,000 towards the winning project’s future development. The last date for submission of entries is July 20, 2017.
The annual design award, run by the James Dyson Foundation, operates in 23 countries – this year the hunt extends to India for the first time.

Talking about the award, Dyson said, “There is normally a better solution to a problem. Engineers challenge convention and have brilliant ideas; The James Dyson Award looks for remarkable yet simple designs with the potential to have a huge impact on society. Each year I am amazed by the ideas and I look forward to seeing this year’s raft of entries.”

Past winners of the award have helped tackle the problem of over fishing, transportation of vaccines in the developing world, global food wastage, and mortality rates of premature babies. Now in its 14th year, the award rewards those who elegantly solve a problem through intelligent engineering solutions. The best inventions are often the simplest.

Last year’s international winner was EcoHelmet, a foldable bike helmet which uses a unique honeycomb paper configuration to protect the head from impact; folds flat when not in use and is made from 100 percent recyclable materials. With bike share programmes on the rise around the world, EcoHelmet’s lightweight and practical design makes it an attractive option for city cyclists, where road accidents are frequent and head injuries could be fatal.

Comments Isis Shiffer, “The financial support and exposure from winning the James Dyson Award has allowed me to fully commercialise EcoHelmet. I am honoured to have had this extraordinary experience and I cannot wait to see my fully-fledged design roll off the production line this year.”

Last year’s UK national winner was ISOBAR, a portable vaccine cooling device designed for developing countries where many programmes fail to meet the international standards for temperature safe vaccine distribution, leading to the vaccine freezing and losing potency. ISOBAR provides a solution by maintaining stable temperature control for up to 30 days.

William Broadway says, “Winning the 2016 UK leg of the National James Dyson Award has given me the confidence to bring ISOBAR, a complex device, to market. It has not only helped me with its development through testing and further iterations but provided me with a platform to showcase my idea which has resulted in many opportunities. I am now looking forward to another exciting year ahead for ISOBAR”.

Running in 23 countries, the James Dyson Award is open to university level students (and recent graduates) studying product design, industrial design and engineering.

The award encourages ideas that challenge convention, promote lean engineering (less is more) and environment friendly designs. The best inventions are simple and practical yet provide a solution to a real world problem. A national winner is selected for every country the award runs in, before going through to the final phase where the international winner is chosen by James Dyson.

The award is sponsored by the James Dyson Foundation, a registered charity set up in 2002 which aims to inspire and support the next generation of engineers.

The international prize is £30,000 for the student and £5,000 for the student’s university department. Upto two international runners-up will be awarded £5,000 each while national winners will get £2,000 each.

The competition timeline is as follows:

– Entries open: March 30, 2017
– Entries close: July 20, 2017
– Announcement of national winners and finalists: September 7, 2017
– Dyson engineers’ shortlist: September 28, 2017
– Announcement of international winners and finalists: October 26, 2017

Any university level student of product design, industrial design or engineering, or graduate within four years of graduation, who is studying or studied in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and the USA.

For more information and regular updates on the progress of the James Dyson Award, follow the James Dyson Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

Video links:
James Dyson opens the 2017 James Dyson Award
2016 James Dyson Award winner – EcoHelmet

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