Young inventors with an idea to fix a problem could just win on the international stage, as the Dyson Award returns for a new year.
When you have a great idea, there are definite ways to bring it to people and show it. You can build it and kickstart it, gaining attention and thrusting you into the world of manufacturing, or even just harness the power of social and let people see what you’re doing.
But if you’re young and working on something, there’s another approach you can take advantage of: awards.
Even though it might not seem like the world plays to inventors all the time, the yearly James Dyson Award is one approach young inventors can use to get their idea out there, with the goal specifically of designing something that solves a problem. It gets entrants from around the world, and while there’s an international element, Australian entrants can win up $9000 before moving onto the global level, the international prize sits at around $55,000 to get the idea into development.
While national winners happen every year, Australians have managed to crack the international level at times, with one of the previous national winners sitting on the judging panel this year — Ryan Tilley — an inventor who came up with a wheelchair accessory to let wheelchairs go off-road.
Last year in Australia, the award wen to Aaron Nguyen’s LUNA Module AFO (above), a concept that made life a little easier for children with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia by using a plastic to conform to ankles and feet gradually over time without the need for tools. Meanwhile, a Singaporean university team came up with an at-home eye pressure testing system called “HOPES” to make glaucoma testing more accessible.
In the past, James Dyson Award winners have gone on to develop out ideas, such as what came out of Australian helmet maker Forcite, which was previous a James Dyson Award winner.
“For me the importance of the James Dyson Award is to solve a problem intelligently – for young inventors to question things, challenge things,” said Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson.
“I truly believe young people want to change the world and in that they should be encouraged. The future is their world,” he said.
“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.”
The James Dyson Award opens up this week at its website, with entries closing on July 6.