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Six students from universities around the UK have presented innovative new products to a panel of judges in the finals of the 2018 Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition, including a student from Teesside University.

From an original submission of more than 140 entries, Lewis Brown, and the other five finalists were selected to contest the final of the competition, which is organised by the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, and headline sponsored by Covestro, with support from market leaders in design and innovation.

The competition brief, Branching Out – Design For Garden Innovation, challenged them to design an innovative product, primarily from plastics, that will better connect people with nature, enhancing the pleasure of gardening or leisure activities within the garden, or by helping to sooth mind and body after a long and stressful day.

The students were asked to present their products to the judges, who include nationally and internationally renowned experts in the field of polymers, innovation and design.

Lewis, a third year Product Design student, presented: Dynamic Grip – an ergonomic garden multi-tool targeting gardeners with arthritis.

He said: “To have got this far in this competition brings a great sense of pride and honour. Competitions like DIP are a great way of showing future employers that you have the right skills and overall, they help set people down the best career path.”

The other five students were:

    • Syeda Fatima Abedi Manji, De Montfort University: Gingko – a planter for urban spaces designed specifically with children in mind to help their development and promote the joy of gardening.
    • Olivia Alexander, De Montfort University: Buzz – A bee friendly planter that administers an anti-mite chemical directly to the bees.
  • Zeina Mofti, Brunel University: G Cycle – a product which combines modern indoor gardening with home aquariums to enhance wellbeing, by providing a calm and relaxing environment.
  • William Oughton, Brunel University: Bulb Garden Furniture – a set of garden accessories designed to enhance and add function to unattractive fencing.
  • Alex Roquero, Brunel University: Hook – a portable balcony shelf which hooks to any kind of railing, thereby optimising space in reduced areas.

The judges went on to deliberate the entries, and will announce the results at a ceremony in London on July 6.

Chairman of the judges, Richard Brown, managing director of RJG Technologies Ltd, said: “We had six very good finalists the majority of whom had taken on board the advice given to them when the preliminary judging took place, and some had been able to refine their product further. Ultimately, the judges look for deliverables against the brief and this was the overriding factor that separated the finalists.”

As part of the prize remuneration, the competition winner and one other will be invited to visit DIP headline sponsor, Covestro, in Germany, and each finalist will be offered a short placement with one of the competition sponsors,  Brightworks, HellermannTyton, Innovate Product Design, PDD and RJG Technologies.

The prestigious Design Innovation in Plastics Award is the longest running student plastics design competition in Europe, having been established in 1985. 

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