What's happening

5 Dec 2018

Ford Fund launch competition with Design School students

The Design School have launched a brand-new competition to students as part of an ongoing partnership with the Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.

The theme of the brief for the competition, Sustainable Urban Solutions for Future Cities, aims to help improve people’s lives by developing useful initiatives that overcome obstacles to daily mobility, help people and goods move easily, safely and securely, encourage active mobility, connect communities together, and provide more efficient energy opportunities, plus many more.

The Ford Fund will be providing £22,500 of funding to support students who come up with sustainable, realistic and affordable urban mobility solutions which can make a difference to society. This is part of a wider partnership with the Ford Fund that has seen them donate nearly £250,000 to support initiatives across the University since 2012.

The students will work together in small teams to submit their proposals later in the academic year, which will be judged by a mixture of Ford, University and community representatives.

Three teams in the competition will be listed as finalists, each being awarded £5,000 to support the initial stages of project implementation, with the overall winning team being provided with an extra £7,500 to follow through with their proposal.

Debbie Chennells, Fund Manager at Ford Motor Company, presented to students at the launch event which took place on 21 November.

Of the competition, she said: “At Ford, we’re all about making people’s lives better through innovation and access, so we really thought this would be a lovely way of helping the community through the lens of mobility by engaging the students in something that is fun and creative.

“I’m really excited to have the Design students involved. It’s slightly different to what we’ve done before and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.”

Dr Val Mitchell, a Senior Lecturer based within the Design School, added: “This is a great project for our students. They’ll be developing a range of new skills, and will learn more about business and enterprise too.

“Not only will they providing a solution to a problem, but also something that will probably be making a real difference, and I think that will really motivate them throughout.”

We look forward seeing the competition develop through its stages and the exciting designs that the students produce.