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17 February 2011 | PR 11/16

Loughborough University graduate goes head-to-head with Apple and Dyson for prestigious design award

Pavegen

Pavegen at the Design Museum in London

Twenty-five year old Loughborough University graduate Laurence Kemball-Cook, the inventor of a revolutionary flooring system that generates electricity from footsteps, is competing against global innovation giants Apple and Dyson for an esteemed Product of the Year award.

The young inventor’s pioneering indoor and outdoor flooring product, Pavegen, allows people to save energy without even realising it, turning kinetic energy from footsteps into electricity to power street lighting, advertising and information displays and other applications that spring into life when people approach them.

The product has been nominated for Product of the Year at the 2011 Brit Insurance Design Awards, alongside best-selling innovations Apple iPad and Dyson Air Multiplier Fan.

 “We are delighted to be taking on such big companies and high-profile products with a low-carbon innovation,” says Laurence.  “We’re a new company but our investors and partners have been quick to recognise the great potential of a product that can be seamlessly integrated into existing architecture and generate electricity on its own, without needing to be connected to the grid.”

He continues, “If rolled out, this product could help local authorities, developers and communities reduce their energy bills but also get their staff and customers engaged in delivering a low-carbon future.”

Laurence developed the technology while studying Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University in 2009. The University supported the Pavegen technology in its infancy through its Student Business Plan competition and recognised the company’s achievements with a Graduate Enterprise Award in 2010. 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise at Loughborough University, Professor Phill Dickens said:  “Loughborough University strives to create a culture of enterprise on campus, providing practical support and positive encouragement to student entrepreneurs.  Pavegen is an excellent example of how our enterprising students can apply their skills to address crucial issues like sustainability and I am delighted to see that the great potential of the innovative low-carbon Pavegen product is being recognised.”

Pavegen’s commercial successes include winning a contract for the low-carbon energy system to be installed at the new Westfield shopping centre on the Olympic site in Stratford City, helping them to achieve strict targets for environmental sustainability. A Canterbury school has also installed the energy-producing floor tiles in one of its busiest corridors.

The Brit Insurance Design Awards 2011 were launched on 15 February at the Design Museum in Central London.  Category results will be announced on 28 February and the winner from each will be entered in the overall competition, announced at a ceremony at the museum on 15 March. 

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Gemma Waller
Marketing Officer (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228684
E: G.L.Waller@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1. High resolution photos are available.

2. About Pavegen technology (www.pavegen.co.uk)
Flexing just 5mm, Pavegen slabs absorb the kinetic energy produced by every footstep, creating 4-10 watts of electricity. The energy is either stored within the slabs or distributed to nearby street lights, information displays and even electrical appliances such as computers and fridges. The energy generated from five slabs can illuminate a bus stop throughout the night. It is estimated that with heavy usage a Pavegen installation could pay for itself within two years, with each slab targeted to have a five-year lifespan.  The technology is currently suitable for indoor use and Pavegen are finalising the design for the outdoor units.
View Pavegen in action: http://www.youtube.com/user/Pavegen
Pavegen Demonstrations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WeiVkhla5Q&feature=related

3. About Loughborough University
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.
It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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