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22 June 2007 PR 07/86

Innovation prizes awarded to student designers

Three talented Loughborough University students have been awarded cash prizes after winning a competition for producing innovative product designs.

Hundreds of creative product ideas were revealed at this year’s Industrial Design and Technology degree show, an exhibition showcasing the work of final year students who will shortly graduate from Loughborough University after completing one of the top-rated product design courses in the UK.

To reward the most inventive designs on show and encourage the students to consider exploiting their ideas commercially, Loughborough University’s Enterprise Office organised a competition and teamed up with networking organisation LATI to offer Prizes for Innovation.

Judging each design on its level of innovation, presentation and commercial viability, three winning concepts were selected. The top prize of £300 was awarded to Chris Nobles for his ‘Flat pack suitcase’, a modular suitcase with ‘living hinge’ technology uniquely applied to ensure the suitcase can be easily assembled, stored, and transported whilst ensuring the contents are protected and manufacturing and assembly costs remain low.

The second prize of £200 was awarded to Nikki Clark for her sustainable refillable skincare packaging, a high quality packaging system developed to alleviate the problem of excess packaging waste in landfill sites.

Third prize of £100 was awarded to Simon Little for his alcohol gel cubicle toilet door lock dispenser, intended for use in hospitals to prevent the spread of bacteria and to help cut MRSA rates.

“It is fantastic to see students present innovative designs that demonstrate such strong commercial potential,” says Marina Pickles, Student Enterprise Manager at Loughborough University. “By awarding these prizes we hope to reward innovation and entrepreneurship amongst these young designers”.


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Notes for editors:

  1. High resolution images of the prize-winning designs are available. Please contact Gemma Pendleton, email G.L.Pendleton@lboro.ac.uk
  2. Loughborough University’s Enterprise Office is committed to encouraging entrepreneurship and nurturing high-growth business. The Enterprise Office supports and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship amongst students and staff. http://www.loughborough-enterprises.com
  3. Loughborough University has a dedicated Student Enterprise Manager, who is happy to offer advice about protecting and developing ideas. http://www.enterpriselufbra.co.uk
  4. LATI is a networking and support organisation for technology and knowledge based organisations and individuals with innovative ideas. http://www.lati.co.uk
  5. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2006 National Student Survey, the University gained a top five place, with nine out of Loughborough’s 23 departments topping their subject tables. Loughborough was also placed 6th in the 2007 Times Good University Guide and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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