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Life Saving Inventions

Life Saving Inventions Announced Finalist
In Annual Product Design Award

A nebuliser not reliant on electricity to administer medicine to patients, a hydration blanket customised for stranded whales, and a ultrasound tool set to help the forest industry measure woodlots, have been announced finalist product designs in the ninth annual James Dyson Award.

The winning entry will be unveiled at a ceremony to be held in Auckland this Thursday, 23 July, to recognise and reward a new generation of emerging Kiwi designers with product design ideas that best demonstrate innovative and inspiring solutions to everyday problems.

The James Dyson Award is open to final year tertiary students studying in the areas of design, technology or engineering, and to graduates in these areas who are in their first three years of work.

The 2009 award winner will be named a British Council New Zealand Design Ambassador and will travel to the UK with $3,000 traveling expenses where they’ll have the opportunity to tour Dyson’s world class Research, Design and Development centre, and meet key members of the UK design community. Plus, they can select an official fee prize package from IPONZ tailored to their design’s intellectual property needs, $3,000 worth of legal advice provided by Farry.Co Law, they’ll receive a Dyson vacuum cleaner and a year’s membership to the Designer’s Institute of New Zealand.

A runner up winner will attend the Creative Catalyst meeting for East Asian emerging creative entrepreneurs in Bangkok this year, as a guest of British Council New Zealand.

David Lovegrove, the Award’s head judge and product design representative from the Designers Institute of NZ, said all entries must reflect the Dyson philosophy; demonstrating a commitment to intelligent design thinking.

“When assessing each entry we asked whether each new product solves a problem? Then we asked whether it goes beyond this to show innovative thinking. The final criteria challenged each product’s approach to sustainability,” said David.

“The three finalists have shown not only creative problem solving an innovation, but each has taken a holistic approach in their design process which has resulted in excellent product resolution and aesthetics.”

The Dyson Award was established in 2001 by Avery Robinson, the distributors of Dyson in New Zealand, and is held in association with the James Dyson Foundation, British Council New Zealand, the Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ), Farry.Co Law, and the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand to recognise and reward up and coming Kiwi designers with product design ideas that best demonstrate innovative and inspiring solutions to everyday problems.

Fellow judge, Gareth Farry, from British Council New Zealand, says of the 20 entries judged, the short listed three are examples of Kiwi ingenuity at its best.

“Each product addresses solutions for current social or economic issues that are topical in New Zealand; it’s great to know Kiwi culture will be reflected in these forward-thinking designs when the winner takes their design to showcase in Britain later this year,” he said.

Says James Dyson, engineer and inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner: “Experimentation and creativity need to be cultivated amongst young designers if we are to see future innovations emerging. This award is about giving the next generation of engineers and designers a head start.”

Eleven New Zealand entries, including the three national finalists, will progress to online judging in the international James Dyson Award competition. The global James Dyson Award winner will be announced in September 2009 and together with their university, they will win a total prize fund of £20,000 or local currency equivalent.

All entries can be viewed on


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