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Solar Panels

Independently Powered Products

The 2024 Brief

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Green energy is typically understood to be generated by large solar or wind farms that feed the national grid to power our homes and businesses. However, advances in technology mean this can be achieved on a much smaller scale and provided by a single product.


You are challenged to create a product that uses its own energy source for an application which is independent of a conventional power supply. Your product should be self-sufficient, meaning it can operate off-grid, and could utilise energy harvesting technologies such as solar, wind, tidal, thermal, kinetic, bio and mechanical.


Your design could be a significant improvement of an existing product that relies on conventional power sources to function, or a completely new product. The source of power should be validated and appropriate to the product and its environment. You are NOT required to detail the mechanism of your chosen electrical system, but the concept should be feasible in principle based upon your research.


The product should be aimed at the domestic or sports & leisure markets and made mainly of an appropriate polymer with strong consideration for sustainability and manufacturing feasibility.


Please undertake a thorough search of existing products and patents to ensure the uniqueness of your idea.


Click here if you would like to draw inspiration from existing independently powered products.

ITEMS TO SUBMIT: 4X A3 sheets detailing your challenge, concept, target market, design assembly, manufacturing, costs, sustainability. Check below to find submission method.

RULES: NO group entries allowed. Only open to undergraduate students from UK and Ireland.

RESOURCES: Search patents at



31       March 2024            Submission deadline
12       April 2024               Preliminary judging
8-9      May 2024               Sumitomo Demag course
24       May 2024               Final Judging
5         July 2024
               Award ceremony

Digitally constructed shelf


1st                                                     £1,000
2nd                                                    £750
3rd                                                     £500
Highly Commended                          £250
All six finalists receive a cash prize, a placement with a DIP sponsor or an industrial course, and a year’s affiliate membership of IOM3.

How to Submit

1.   Create a single pdf file with max A3 pages at 120 dpi resolution

2.   Do NOT include name or university on your A3 slides

3.   Name your file: DIP_ University_Surname, i.e. DIP_TDUB_Taylor

4.   Email your files if smaller than 25MB it to: If files are larger than 25MB,  use WeTransfer to send it to us (not to exceed 6MB)

5.   Wait for a confirmation from us that we got your entry. If you don't receive one, follow up with us.

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