29 June 2017

The Inventor Prize 2017

Jane Lambert

When NESTA announced on 24 Jan 2017 that it "was working with BEIS to pilot an ‘inventor’ prize that will inspire and harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user-led innovation" (see Zofia Jackiewicz Announcing the Inventor Prize on 24 June 2017 Inventor Prize website), I promised to do everything I could to support the initiative (see NESTA's Inventor Prize 26Jan 2017 NIPC Yorkshire).

Today NESTA appeals to the public for help to "refine the prize design through a better understanding of the support inventors need" (see  The Inventor Prize wants to hear from you 19 June 2017).  As I noted in my article "the Inventor Prize, which opens for entries later this summer, is a challenge prize pilot that aims to inspire and harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors." NESTA is now holding a month-long consultation during which it will aim to talk to inventors, experts and the public about how it can shape the prize so as to achieve its aim of helping inventors.

It will do that by conducting a survey which I did this morning, interviewing respondents and holding a workshop at the Museum of London between 09:00 and 12:00 on the 10 July. Regrettably, I can't attend that workshop as I have conflicting professional obligations but I will report regularly on this initiative.

In the meantime, here are three interesting inventions that NESTA has found which have been created by individual inventors:
  • The Comp-A-Tent disposable tent made from non-finite, bio-based materials which are selected for their minimal environmental impact; 
  • Sugru, the first new mouldable glue designed for fixing, making and improving stuff; and 
  • Nimble which looks like a thimble but seems to do a great deal more.
Today I received a call from an inventor in Northampton about the advice and assistance that was available in his area. If you want to find out what services and resources are available in your part of the United Kingdom, call me on 020 7404 5252 or message me through my contact form.

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