The James Dyson Award is now open for entries, giving students and recent graduates of engineering and design a unique opportunity to show their problem solving inventions on a global stage. The brief is simple, design something which solves a problem, big or small. The winner will gain international exposure through the competition and approx. NZD$55,000* prize money to develop their idea.
Over the last fourteen years the James Dyson Award has gained more and more international recognition, attracting outstanding ideas from across the globe. Ingenuity can be found anywhere. We want to support as many young inventors as we can. This year the annual competition will include entries from a further four nations: Mexico, UAE, Sweden and the Philippines; operating in a total of 27 nations.
Dyson is proud to welcome some of the country’s leading minds in the technology and engineering sector to the James Dyson Award judging panel for New Zealand entries. Paul Brislen, technology commentator, journalist and past Chief Executive of the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ joins returning judges Mike Jensen, General Manager of Industrial Design at Fisher & Paykel and Gareth Lauchlan, Director and Co-Owner of Formworks Design.
Paul Brislen, technology commentator, journalist and past Chief Executive of the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ says: “I am delighted to be involved in such a great celebration of innovation and ideas. New Zealand has built itself on a culture of innovation and solving old problems in new ways, and I’m looking forward to seeing just what solutions this next generation of inventors can bring to bear. The problems we are facing can be quite different to those of the past and I look forward to seeing how young minds and fresh approaches can tackle these issues.”
Mike Jensen, General Manager of Industrial Design at Fisher & Paykel says: “The James Dyson Award is a fantastic opportunity for young designers to get their ideas recognised. I’m really excited to be judging the awards again this year. The criteria is about solving real life, real world problems and it is always extremely inspiring to see what the best up and coming designers within New Zealand create. I look forward to see what amazing concepts are presented this year.”
Gareth Lauchlan, Director and Co-Owner of Formworks Design says: “As a returning judge to the James Dyson Award I am always amazed at the ingenious design solutions proposed by the entrants. Past entries not only solve an issue, but also appeal to the emotive side of the user. I'm looking forward to seeing how the New Zealand entries continue to challenge design perceptions and follow the James Dyson philosophy in their design solutions."
The competition recognises ingenious designers and engineers who challenge the status quo and do more with less. The best inventions are often the simplest, yet provide an intelligent solution to a real-world problem. Past winners have sought to tackle overfishing, sustainability in the clothing industry and food waste. Last year’s International Award went to the sKan, a low-cost, early detection melanoma skin cancer device, engineered to prevent misdiagnosis. Previous to this, EcoHelmet, a fully foldable paper bike helmet designed for bike share programmes took the title. As technology advances and products become increasingly complex, we are seeing a shift towards the use of machine learning; robotics; and the fusing of software and hardware in the entries.
The sKan team says: “Winning the James Dyson Award was an exciting and humbling opportunity. The media exposure we received around the world opened many doors for us. We’ve made connections with top experts and are continuing to learn from them so we can develop ‘The sKan’ to help solve the problems in today’s melanoma diagnosis process.”
Last year’s NZ Winner was Moray – Focusing on usability, performance and stock wellbeing, Moray is an innovative hand-tool designed for sheep farmers to assist in the seasonal process of removing lambs tails, commonly known as docking. Using piezoelectric igniting, Moray has a specialised double-chamber dampening shaft for reliable weather-proofing and consistent blade temperatures for clean cauterisation. Effective docking significantly reduces lamb morality and has a positive impact on the health and productivity of the animals involved.
Nicole Austin, Moray founder says: “Winning the James Dyson Award was pretty exciting. Now that women are becoming more engaged in industrial design, it’s great to be able to represent the field in that way. I refined an outdated, traditional tool to be 35% lighter and to use 60% less hand span than the docking iron currently used by New Zealand farmers.”
*Equivalent to £30,000 at time of payment