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Calling Designers, Engineers & Inventors: James Dyson Award

9 February 2012

Calling Budding Designers, Engineers and Inventors
2012 James Dyson Award open

2012 registrations for New Zealand’s long-running James Dyson Award opens today.

The award, which is co-funded by the British Council NZ, challenges young engineers and designers to develop problem-solving inventions. Previous winners have tackled problems ranging from a buoyancy aid inspired by a grenade launcher, to a kitchen tap which can tackle a fire in the home.

Design students, engineers and designers within four years of graduation are invited to enter their end of year projects or other inventions they have developed since graduating. The award, run in eighteen countries, celebrates ingenuity and creativity with the overall international winner receiving £10,000 to develop their invention and £10,000 for their university.

James Dyson, the British inventor who designed the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson bladeless fan, and the Dyson Airblade hand dryer that can dry hands in 10 seconds, said young people have an unsullied view of the world.

“Budding engineers and designers can use their fresh perspective to develop wonderfully simple solutions to baffling problems. Original ideas and rigorously engineered projects will attract the attention of the judges. I challenge applicants to think big and use the award as a springboard for your idea.”

Nicholas Couch, a graduate from Massey University, won the national award last year with his shoe designed for barefoot running. The design was aimed at helping runners taking up the fast-growing trend of running without footwear and to encourage the foot to move more naturally thereby reducing injury. His shoe design is believed to be the only sustainable barefoot-style design that features replaceable and recyclable parts.

Previous New Zealand entries have included a prosthetic leg powered by magnets and a solar powered lawn mower.

Designers have until 2 August 2012 to submit footage, images and sketches of their ideas to, along with stories detailing their design process and inspiration.

The New Zealand James Dyson Award winner will receive:

• Return airfares to the UK, NZD$3,000 spending money and accommodation in London.
• Meetings with top UK design companies and a visit to Dyson’s London office.
• $3,000 legal or business advice from Auckland firm Farry.Co.
• An official fee prize package from IPONZ tailored to the winner’s immediate intellectual property needs.
• A year’s membership to the Designers Institute of New Zealand.

All New Zealand entries will also qualify for the international James Dyson Award, with GBP£10,000 going to the winning student or team, another GBP£10,000 to the current or former student’s university department.

The national winner will be announced in mid-August and the international winner, on 8 November.

Award partner, British Council New Zealand, said the judges will look for interpersonal qualities as well as talent in design.

British Council Country Director, Ingrid Leary, said the winning entry would need to stand out from the rest, in terms of its ability to sell local ingenuity at an international level.

“While judges will be looking at design skills, the entrant’s ability to articulate their vision and creativity will also be an important of the judging criteria."

The James Dyson Award in New Zealand was set up in 2001 by Avery Robinson Ltd - distributors of Dyson in New Zealand. The New Zealand Award is hosted in association with the British Council New Zealand, DINZ, Farry.Co Law and IPONZ.

To enter, or for more information about the award visit


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