Budding inventors swept the board at the latest British Invention Show. Students, alumni and businesspeople who had tapped into expertise at the Universityâ€™s Enterprise Exchange walked away with a clutch of awards, including the coveted British Inventor of the Year title. The haul also included a platinum award, eight gold medals and one silver.
Leading the way was Dominic Robinson, a graduate of the Universityâ€™s predecessor Kingston Polytechnic, who was named Inventor of the Year after impressing judges with his concept for a more spacious aircraft seat. A pop-up hood for rainwear secured designer Sarah London platinum and gold medals in the leisure section, while the originators of the Buggy Boot – a holdall that straps to pushchairs to help parents manage heavy shopping – also took centre stage. Young mothers Carolyn Jarvis and Charlotte Evans picked up gold medals for design and invention in the consumer category. Kingston also made a strong showing in the industrial category, with Matthias Luethi claiming golds for innovation and design after creating a prototype for an environmentally-sensitive wind turbine.
Members of the Kingston Round Table of Inventors, a club set up by the University to encourage innovation in the surrounding region, were also applauded for their initiative. They included Andrew Cordani, who won a double gold award in the leisure category after developing an electronic percussion instrument called the Midistick, and businessman Andy Griffin, awarded a gold medal for innovation in the consumer category for devising software to help smokers quit the habit.
Director of Enterprise Marguerite Lipscomb attributes the successes to the Universityâ€™s commitment to helping inventors transform their initial ideas into marketable products. â€œWe attach great importance to sharing the Universityâ€™s expertise, not only with students, but also with businesspeople in the wider community so they can come up with innovative solutions to age-old problems,â€ Mrs Lipscomb said. â€œSo often we are contacted by people who have marvellous ideas but lack the business know-how to get their projects off the ground. By offering specialist advice, helping them source funding and providing access to state-of-the-art facilities, input from the Enterprise Exchange team is able to make a tangible difference as they strive to achieve their goals.â€