Design

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18 May 2020

Alumnus Peter Astbury awarded huge grant for his innovative product

Alumnus Peter Astbury, Founder of Astinno, has been awarded a sizeable grant worth £360,000 ($450k) to fund further testing and technical development of Grace, a wearable piece of technology for women experiencing hot flushes.

The alumnus began development of the product as part of his final year project on the Industrial Design and Technology course at Loughborough in 2017 when he noticed a gap in the market for menopausal relief products.

Peter is now a member of The Studio, the University’s graduate incubator that brings together alumni with local businesses and academics. In 2017, Peter was also awarded a Start-Up grant from the Loughborough Enterprise Network to help fund his business.

The grant awarded to Astinno and their new partners Morgan Innovation & Technology (Morgan IAT) and Loughborough University is part of Innovate UK’s SMART grants scheme which is renowned for being competitive. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, which is a non-departmental public body funded by the UK government.

Of almost 1,300 applications, less than 100 are being funded. Judges were impressed by the “truly innovative” product and recognised its potential to help the UK reach “a leading position in menopause science and technology”.

Commenting on this, Peter said “as an area that has attracted such little attention from investors until recently, this is really promising for menopause and women’s health as a whole”.

Grace is a bracelet that automatically fends off menopausal hot flushes and has already caught the eye of industry experts, winning an AXA Health Tech & You Award (2018), being named National Runner Up for the James Dyson Award (2017) and being shortlisted for a D&AD Impact Award (2018).

Women can wear the bracelet day and night, and the invention could help in solving one of the most common menopausal symptoms for millions of women worldwide.

The next phase of prototype testing will begin soon.

Congratulations to Peter.

Find out more about Grace.