James Dyson Award Call for Entries 2009

Feb 13 •

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Renowned design competition expands to students in more than 20 countries.

CHICAGO, IL – Perilous city cycling. Communicating with the deaf. Filtering contaminated water. These are a few of the issues students have tackled in the U.S. “Eye for Why,” student design competition run by the James Dyson Foundation. Beginning in 2009, “Eye for Why,” along with 20 other regional student design competitions will be rolled into a larger and more challenging global competition: The James Dyson Award.

The revamped James Dyson Award is run by the James Dyson Foundation in collaboration with universities worldwide. From October 2008 through June 2009, students and their universities are encouraged to submit entries for the chance to win a total prize of £20,000.

Entrants will submit footage, images and sketches of their ideas to an interactive website (www.jamesdysonaward.org) along with stories detailing their design process and inspiration. There are no limits regarding the scale or potential of the inventions submitted. Previous entries include an electronic guide dog, a solar powered reef boat and a hydration vest for athletes.

To drive support for engineering and bring attention to the importance of good design, the Foundation has started a unique “People’s Choice” vote in each of the 21 countries. Beginning June 2009 the American public will have the opportunity to choose their favorite local invention as a wild card to move on to the finals.

The James Dyson Foundation is committed to encouraging young people to take up design and engineering. Over the last ten years in the U.S. engineering Masters Degrees have declined by nearly 30%. The story is similar in the UK, where less than half of engineering students choose to enter the profession in favor of careers in finance and product marketing.

“Young designers and engineers are brimming with creative ideas to change the world – our award celebrates the ability to think differently. We need to support and encourage the engineers of the future,” said James Dyson.

London-based American, Michael Chen, won the James Dyson Award in 2008 for his cycling jacket Reactiv, which uses motion-sensing lights to show when the cyclist is breaking or turning. Says Chen, “It can be a struggle getting a design to market – you have to make the leap from inventor to entrepreneur. The interest generated by the James Dyson Award meant manufacturers were coming to me. People are always interested in new technology that works well.”

James Dyson and the international judging panel will be looking for an idea that is new and different but that also has significant practical use. The winner will be announced on 7th September 2009.

About the James Dyson Foundation

The James Dyson Foundation, a registered charity, was founded in 2002 with the aim of supporting design, technology and engineering education, medical research charities and local community projects. The James Dyson Foundation works with schools and universities around the UK and internationally.

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