Last call for 2016 entries to Blackwood’s innovative Design Awards

Blackwood Design AwardsAspiring designers, engineers and inventors have just one week remaining to enter a ‘Dragons Den’ inspired event which has become a magnet for global talent.

The annual Blackwood Design Awards attract both gifted amateurs and seasoned professionals to showcase innovations to change the lives of disabled people.

Now, the Edinburgh-based housing and care provider is appealing for any last minute entrants to come forward over the next seven days to be in with a chance of winning this year’s competition.

Previous winners have included a spoon that doesn’t spill and an eye-controlled wheelchair. This year the competition will be made up of two distinct categories – Best New Product and Best New Concept.

Last year's winner - the S'up Spoon, a spoon that doesn't spill
Last year’s winner - the S’up Spoon, a spoon that doesn’t spill

Colin Foskett, head of innovation at Blackwood, believes the move will double the chances to identify and champion breakthroughs that improve life for those with physical or mental disabilities.

He said: “I would encourage any budding designers who may currently be sitting on the fence to enter the Awards as soon as possible, as it really is a fantastic opportunity to get the necessary support for a new product.

“By supporting, and promoting, new design talent we aim to provide a platform for individuals to showcase their designs whilst also providing a helpful innovative technology to those with disabilities, the elderly and those with impairments.

“Some of the designs we have previously seen are revolutionary and have benefited the lives of many others, and the designs by this year’s four shortlisted finalists are no different.

“Many previous entrants have gone on to achieve great things so it is definitely a worthwhile opportunity for all aspiring entrepreneurs out there.”

The most keenly contested category will remain ‘Best New Concept’, inviting inventors and developers to come forward with ideas that are not yet readily available. With £2000 up for grabs from sponsor Kingdom Gas, the lucky winner has a real chance of helping see their concept become a reality.

2015 winners - creator Grant Douglas and Industrial Designer Mark Penver from 4c Design
2015 winners - creator Grant Douglas and Industrial Designer Mark Penver from 4c Design

4c Design, one of Scotland’s top product design companies – who famously designed the Queen’s Baton for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games – will also provide some professional support and guidance on design development.

Other benefits for the winning entries will include support from business law experts, Harper MacLeod, as well as product and development support from the team at Blackwood, experts in deploying technology to enhance care and housing.

The Best New Product category will seek entries that are finalised concepts and are commercially available and could help niche or struggling products to breakthrough to a much wider audience.

The competition has built a reputation of enabling great success for winners, and entries now frequently come in from all over the globe, including Canada and Pakistan.

Blackwood has been a leading name for 40 years in the housing and care sector, operating all across Scotland and is renowned for its work in adapting properties to let people who are disabled, elderly or have sensory impairments, to live independently.

For details on how to enter, visit here.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday 30th November.

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