This year's James Dyson Award design competition, which as always carries the appealingly simple brief of "Design something that solves a problem," opens today. What's different this time around is the reward money. Whether in a bid to attract more competitors or to more richly reward the victors, the International Winner's purse has been doubled to US $45,000 for the student or student team, and a further $15,000 to their associated university department.
The prize for the International Runners-up is nothing to scoff at either: Both will receive $15,000, while National Winners will take home $3,000 for their troubles.
Though he only won half of what's on offer this year, Dan Watson put the money to good use after taking home last year's top prize. The designer of the SafetyNet (see video below) forwent the Porsche-leasing I'd have been tempted into and instead set up a company, SafetyNet Technologies: "I have used the prize money to improve and test my prototypes," he writes. "The exposure the award has given me has opened a lot of doors for me, from television appearances to meetings with government officials. The future for SafetyNet is extremely promising."
You've got until August 1st to get your act together and make like Watson. Get started now!