Deadline looming for entrants to James Dyson Award

The clock is ticking for students of product design, industrial design or engineering to submit their entries to the 2017 James Dyson Award.

Entrants have until July 20, 2017 to put forward an idea that conforms to a brief that asks for the ‘design of something that solves a problem, big or small.’ A £30,000 prize is available for the winning project’s future development.

“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,” said Dyson, founder of an eponymous company that designs and manufactures products including vacuum cleaners, hand dryers, bladeless fans, heaters and hair dryers.

Past winners have addressed problems surrounding over fishing, the transportation of vaccines in the developing world, global food waste, and mortality rates of premature babies. Now in its 14th year, the award rewards those who ‘elegantly solve a problem through intelligent engineering solutions.’

Last year’s International Winner was EcoHelmet, a foldable bike helmet which uses a honeycomb paper configuration to protect the head from impact; folds flat when not in use and is made completely from recyclable materials. 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.

“The financial support and exposure from winning the James Dyson Award has allowed me to fully commercialise EcoHelmet,” said 2016 winner Isis Shiffer.. “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.

Prize breakdown:

International Winner:
The international prize is £30,000 for the student and £5,000 for the student’s university department.

Up to two International Runners-up:
£5,000 each

National Winners
£2,000 each

Competition timeline
Opens: 30 March 2017
Close: 20 July 2017
National winners and finalists announced: 7 September 2017
Dyson engineers’ shortlist: 28 September 2017
International winner and finalists announced: 26 October 2017

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