The James Dyson Award, an annual student design competition run by Dyson’s charity, is now open and accepting submissions from young inventors. After receiving an impressive array of entries in recent years, the Award is increasing its prize money to support the crucial first steps of entrepreneurship. This year’s National winners, to be announced in September, will receive £5,000 (approx. INR 5 lakhs) towards developing their invention. To date the competition has awarded more than 285 inventions with prize money.
Since 2005, the James Dyson Award has challenged entrepreneurial undergraduates and recent graduates of engineering and design, to ‘Design something that solves a problem’. Purposely broad and open-ended, the brief tasks students to take on big global problems. Past winners have found solutions to plastic recycling accessibility, excessive blood loss from knife wounds, and improving at-home medical diagnostics. Sir James Dyson chooses the competition’s global winners; they receive vital funding and high-profile recognition – key first steps to take their ideas into real life practical application.
Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson, said: “For me the importance of the James Dyson Award is to solve a problem intelligently – for young inventors to question things, challenge things. I truly believe young people want to change the world and in that they should be encouraged. The future is their world. The Award gives them the confidence and a platform to pursue their solutions. In fact, 70% of our past international winners are following up and commercialising their inventions. To future entrants, I look forward to reviewing your radical and game-changing ideas. Good luck!”
This year, there will be global prizes available. But first, each participating country and region will award a National winner (£5,000) and two National runners-up. The National winners are chosen by an external panel in collaboration with a Dyson engineer. Those that win a National accolade proceed to the International shortlist and awarding stages, where James Dyson selects his global winners.
What makes a good entry?
The best inventions are often the simplest, providing clear and intelligent solutions to real-world problems. Last year’s National winner from India was Deval Karia, the inventor of LifeBox. The project LifeBox was developed with a vision to explore drones as a transport channel for organs. Conceptually, multiple ideas were brainstormed, leading to development of several prototypes and a novel cooling system that allows for significant reduction in weight and power requirement. Fluid delivery and cooling sub-systems were iteratively improved via experiments.