Latest news from Loughborough University

Simon Lyons

25 Mar 2015

Simon Lyons wins national Design for Life Award

Simon Lyons

Graduate entrepreneur Simon Lyons has won a prestigious national competition to find the next big idea in inclusive design that could significantly improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

The Design for Life Award has been launched by Irwin Mitchell, one of the UK’s largest and most respected law firms, in partnership with Nesta and Disability Rights UK.

As overall winner following a nationwide search, Simon will receive £10,000 worth of legal fees and R&D support to help launch an innovative new product that enables people with disabilities in their hands to safely and easily open awkward food and drink packaging. Whilst this seems a relatively simple task, it can prove extremely challenging to many people with such disabilities. Simon’s product solves the issue in a single hand swipe. More details will be revealed soon, when a full suite of Intellectual Property Rights are in place.

Simon was selected for the Studio, the University’s graduate commercialisation hub in 2013, having been awarded first-class honours in Product Design Engineering. The Irwin Mitchell Design for Life Awards is one of a string of accolades for his company Version 22, including the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award and a James Dyson Foundation Bursary.

Simon is also a finalist in the Graduate Enterprise category of the University’s annual Enterprise Awards, where the public vote decides the winners on 15 May.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 15/35

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 has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Additional contact information

Anna Leather
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445