The 2011 international James Dyson Award is now open for entries - challenging young engineers and designers to develop problem solving inventions. Previous winners of the award have tackled a range of challenges: from a buoyancy aid inspired by a grenade launcher to a kitchen faucet which can extinguish a blaze in your home.
The award, run in eighteen countries, celebrates ingenuity and creativity with the winner receiving $16,000 to develop their invention and $16,000 for their university. Entries from university level students of product design, industrial design and engineering are accepted through August 2, 2011.
Kim Hoffman, a graduate from the Academy of Art University in California, was named runner up in the international leg of the award with the Sea Kettle, an emergency life raft which uses natural sunlight to desalinate water. Hoffman found inspiration from stories of people who suffer from dehydration while being stranded at sea.
The US winner, Christine Outram and a team of MIT students invented the Copenhagen Wheel - a wheel that turns a regular bike into a smart, electric hybrid. Controlled through a rider's smart phone, the wheel allows riders to capture the energy dissipated when breaking and cycling and save it for when they need a boost. The Copenhagen Wheel is currently in final prototyping phase and will go commercial in June 2011.
"Put faith in frustrations and solve the problems that cause them," said James Dyson, commencing the 2011 award. "We're looking for the people who rather than accept a problem, go further to design a simple and effective solution.
The James Dyson Award champions the ideas of young designers and engineers - encouraging them to develop inventions, defy their critics, and turn them into commercial successes for themselves and their economy."
Entrants will submit footage, images and sketches to www.jamesdysonaward.org, along with stories detailing their design process and inspiration. Their ideas will be scrutinized by judges around the world and Dyson engineers before James Dyson announces the international winner on November 8, 2011.