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Newbury, April 28 - A British design student has spent a week at Bayer’s headquarters Germany after winning a design innovation award.

The theme of the 2010 competition, Refreshing Design’, challenged student designers and design engineers to create a product that addressed economic and environmental concerns yet was innovative and ‘refreshing’. Interpretations of the theme could include, for example, a novel solution to an existing problem, saving overall lifetime costs, or a modification of a current product targeted at a new market, allowing an item to be rejuvenated rather than discarded.

The winning entries tackled issues associated with water conservation, sustainable fishing, composting, sports injuries, giving up smoking, and carrying back-breaking loads on building sites. Rob Holdway, a competition judge and Director of Giraffe Innovation, a leading environmental management consultancy, commented that “the quality of entries has doubled over the last two years”.

The Award was originally established in 1985 as the BASF Design Award and has evolved to become Design Innovation in Plastics, now owned by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and The Worshipful Company of Horners, with the continued support of Bayer MaterialScience as the principal industry sponsor. This year the Award celebrates its 25th anniversary and acknowledges winners who have developed into successful designers, such as Rob Law, a finalist in 1997, whose entry is now marketed globally as the Trunki, a ride-on children’s suitcase; Derek Muir, the 2005 winner, who is now a designer with Black & Decker; and Joshua Sheard, who was employed immediately by Universal Imports Ltd, the UK’s leading door furniture supplier, as a direct result of his success in last year’s competition.

A unique feature of the Design Innovation in Plastics Award is the feedback from the judges following the preliminary judging session, which enables the students to refine their designs for the final judging stage.

After seven years at the helm of this very successful plastics design competition, Dr David Mays has decided to hand over to Martin Sixsmith, former Director of Bayer MaterialScience UK/Ireland, who will head the award team from July 2010.


FIRST PRIZE SafetyNet, Dan Watson, Royal College of Art
A redesigned trawl net offering an affordable way to improve the sustainability and lower the environmental impact of demersal (bottom) trawler fishing. Dan wins a placement with Bayer MaterialScience, Leverkusen, Germany and a cheque for £1000

SECOND PRIZE Smokefree Linx, Bradley Coulson, NorthumbriaUniversity A bracelet to aid smoking cessation (inspired by the experience of trying to quit smoking).
Bradley wins a placement with DuPont in Geneva and a cheque for £500.

THIRD PRIZE Stack Composter, James Shutt, Northumbria University
A garden composter that speeds up the composting process, allows easy access to the mature compost and is impenetrable to nesting rodents.
James wins a placement with PDD, and a cheque for £250


Precision D Shin Guard, Jaipreet Bahra, Aston University
A soccer shin guard incorporating smart polymer material
Jaipreet wins a placement with Brightworks plus a cheque for £100

flow • R • spiral, Helena From, London South Bank University
A shower head based on a ball and spiral mechanism designed to reduce water consumption by more than half. Helena wins a placement with HellermannTyton plus a cheque for £100

Pincer, Matthew Ince, University of Huddersfield
An aid for safely lifting and carrying heavy building blocks on construction sites. Matthew wins a placement with Hi-Technology Group plus a cheque for £100


Richard Brown (Chairman) Operations Director for Hi-Technology Group
Mandy Haberman, Haberman Associates
Rob Holdway, Director, Giraffe Innovation
Dr Robin Kent, Managing Director, Tangram Technology
James Steiner, Senior Designer, PDD
Stewart Potter / John Barsby, Bayer MaterialScience