Global call issued for entries to 2017 James Dyson Award

30 Mar 2017

An inventor’s table. Image: Laborant/Shutterstock

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 James Dyson Award, which has seen some Irish success stories over the past few years.

In what will be the thirteenth year of the competition, nominations for the 2017 James Dyson Award can be submitted as of today (30 March) from budding engineers and inventors hoping to make their mark on the world.

The aim of the James Dyson Foundation award is to look to future generations to solve real-world problems that will be faced in the years to come.

Aside from the potential to see your idea gain international recognition – with applications accepted in 23 different countries –the competition has a total of more than €100,000 on offer.

Also, for the first time, the award will now be open to one of the growing economic powerhouses: India.

With each of the nations having one representative in the final shortlist, the global winner will walk away with €35,000 to spend on their concept.

Last year’s International Winner was EcoHelmet, a foldable bike helmet that uses a unique honeycomb paper configuration to protect the head from impact. It folds flat when not in use and is made from 100pc recyclable materials.

H-Flo tea

Last year’s H-Flo team from left: Kelly Lane, Shane O’Driscoll, Arran Coughlan, Gerard O’Connell and Kacey Mealy. Image: Gerard McCarthy

Previous Irish successes

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.

Since her victory, Isis Shiffer said she has been able to fully commercialise her helmet.

Ireland has had a number of noticeable entries since the competition began, with the first ever national winner – Patrick Moloney – going on to work as a senior engineer at Dyson.

Last year, a device designed by Cork students called the H-Flo, which aims to prevents work crews from accidental drownings, was named among the 20 finalists for the international awards.

“There is normally a better solution to a problem,” said James Dyson, ahead of this year’s award.

“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.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic