The annual James Dyson Award has opened for entries in a competition that gives students and recent graduates of engineering and design a unique chance to show their skills to the world.

Having been run for 14 years there’s a real credibility that comes with the James Dyson Award – not just the name of one of the great inventors of our time.

There’s over $50,000 in prize money on the line to help develop the winning idea into a product so it’s well worth it for many young designers and inventors.

James Dyson says “Young engineers and designers have perspective and unbridled intelligence that makes them incredibly adept at problem solving. Their ideas can easily be dismissed, but if nurtured and celebrated they are transformative. Developing a product or technology is a long and daunting process; the James Dyson Award celebrates the inventive young people embarking on that process. The Award champions our next generation of inventors and will propel them towards future success. I am excited to see what surprising ideas this year’s award brings.”

The concept is to challenge the status quo – and do more with less. Last year the award went to a low-cost early melanoma detection device. Previously the foldable eco-friendly bike helmet was a winner and many more before it.

A local Australian winner will come from the pool of entries here, to be judged by a panel of three including myself, Dr. Sue Keay, COO of the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision and Ally Watson, CEO & Co-Founder at Code Like A Girl.

Ally Watson, CEO and Co-Founder, Code Like a Girl says“This is an exciting and important opportunity for us to champion students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and I hope my role as a judge inspires other women to participate in competitions and pursue careers in STEM. From what I’ve seen, over the past few years, the James Dyson Award has received amazing entries from Australia.”

Dr. Sue Keay (QUT), COO, Australian Centre for Robotic Vision says “I am extremely honoured to be on the judging panel for the James Dyson Award this year. Having worked in robotic vision for over 3 years, I am very interested in seeing how students and graduates use and apply robotics and computer vision to healthcare, productivity and everyday tasks.”

Personally I think Dyson has always been a leader in design, engineering and technology and the James Dyson Award is a great way for us to recognise and celebrate Australia’s next generation of engineers. From previous years, we have seen students address real-life, real-world problems like melanoma detection, and this year I would love to see entrants address issues such as education, child safety and sustainable farming.

Last year the Activ Infusion pump, a device to reduce the stress and impact of chemotherapy was the Aussie winner, William Mason, Activ Infusion founder said “Witnessing the struggle my family went through is what has really motivated me to develop Activ Infusion Pump. I understand my product isn’t going to solve all of the problems connected with chemotherapy treatment, but it can make a positive impact in a small but meaningful way to the lives of patients and their families. Being recognised as the Australian winner of the James Dyson Award was extremely exciting! The money helped me to continue on my venture, moving towards further prototyping and development.”

About the Competition

The competition brief: design something that solves a problem. This problem may be a frustration we all face in daily life, or a global issue such as world hunger. The important thing is that the solution is an effective and well-thought through solution.

The prizes:

  • 1X international winner: approximately AUD$53,000* (and AUD$8,500 for their university)
  • 2X international runners-up: approximately AUD$8,500**
  • National winner: approximately AUD$3,000****Equivalent to £30,000 at time of payment
    **Equivalent to £5,000 at time of payment
    ***Equivalent to £2,000 at time of payment

The process: Entries are judged first at the national level – before progressing to the international stage. A panel of Dyson engineers select an international shortlist of 20 entries. The Top 20 projects are then reviewed by Sir James Dyson, who selects the international winner.

Web:James Dyson Award