The Launchpad competition, organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), has been won by the inventor of an inflatable incubator. The winner receives £15000, together with mentoring and support from the RAE’s Enterprise Hub.
James Roberts is a 23-year old product design student at Loughborough University. His inflatable incubator is low-cost and is designed for use in developing countries, where lack of suitable facilities means babies who could survive often do not.
Invention Flourishing in the UK
The other finalists in the competition were:-
- Comp-A-Tent – Amanda Campbell is an architecture graduate who wanted to solve the issue of tents that are abandoned at the end of music festivals. Her invention is the world’s first biodegradable tent, which breaks down in 120 days.
- Reducing gas wastage – George Edwards is just 19 and has designed a monitoring device which shows how much gas is left in a bottle and sends notifications to an app. His invention has already found favour with Richard Branson, who is looking at investing in the company.
- Kidney dialysis improvements – with a £1m grant to develop the technology with Imperial College London, Sorin Popa is hoping that his invention will start to change lives soon. His company, Stent Tek, uses a small stent graft to allow kidney dialysis treatment without invasive surgery.
The range of innovation across the finalists is testament to the fact that invention is alive and well in the UK. With the right support, mentoring and economic backing, these businesses could all be at the start of a lifetime of continued innovative product design.
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