Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Designing and engineering

James Dyson Award opens for big, young ideas that solve problems

The world has lots of problems to solve, and the 2021 edition of the James Dyson Award aims to get young people doing that: solving problems.

We all know someone young, and we all know someone who wants to solve problems, but if you know someone who happens to be young and has a desire to solve problems, they might use be able to enter this in the 2021 James Dyson Awards.

This year’s awards program is putting the call out for for inventors and engineers to solve a problem, with a broad and open-ended challenge that can result in a big prize, as well as the chance to take the idea to the international stage and turn it into something people can use.

The James Dyson Awards annual competition isn’t for high schoolers or younger generations, though, focusing instead on university students. However that’s really the only requirement, with the goal being a project that solves a problem, be it a global issue or something we encounter in daily life. The awards will be judged and a shortlist of national winners will be chosen, with these sent to the international stage to compete against projects from all around the world.

For those competing for the prize (as opposed to for their career), the national winners will get $3500 each, while an international winner will get $52,000 plus $8,700 for the winner’s university, with a winner in the sustainability category also getting the $52,000 themselves.

However while money can be a great motivator, the 2021 James Dyson Awards might just be the kick some students need to get an inventor and engineer past the conceptual stage, and over into the real world. That’s happened for some Aussies, including the team at Forcite, which has been a recipient of the James Dyson Award previously.

“Young people want to change the world and the Award supports them to do that giving crucial funding, validation and a platform to launch their ideas,” said James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson.

“They are remarkably successful,” he said, noting that “65% of international winners are commercialising their ideas, against a backdrop where 90% of start-ups fail.

“I will be looking for radical inventions that challenge and question established thinking,” he said.

The 2021 James Dyson Awards are live now, with the deadline to apply on June 30.

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