James Dyson Award now open to Kiwi students and young inventors

Last year's Aotearoa winner will help judge this year's entries.
Last year's Aotearoa winner will help judge this year's entries. Photo credit: Supplied

The James Dyson Award, an annual design competition, is now open to entries from New Zealand students and young inventors for 2022.

Each national winner, announced in September, receives $9800 towards developing their invention, with potential to end up a global winner worth up to an additional $59,000.

The best inventions are often the simplest, providing clear and intelligent solutions to real-world problems, the foundation which runs the awards said.

That was the case for last year's New Zealand winner, Maisie Panoho, who will be one of the judges in Aotearoa this year.

She invented the Hae Hae, a child friendly inhaler with a game-changing design that intends to make life easier for children with asthma.

Panoho said winning the award was a "great acknowledgement of all the time, passion and hard work I've committed to solving this problem".

The James Dyson Award has challenged entrepreneurial undergraduates and recent graduates of engineering and design, to 'design something that solves a problem' since 2005.

Past winners have found solutions to plastic recycling accessibility, excessive blood loss from knife wounds, and improving at-home medical diagnostics. 

Once the national winners are found, Dyson himself chooses the global winners.

"For me the importance of the James Dyson Award is to solve a problem intelligently - for young inventors to question things, challenge things," Dyson said.

"I truly believe young people want to change the world and, in that, they should be encouraged. The future is their world."

Dyson says 70 percent of past international winners are following up their award wins by commercialising their inventions.

He also said he was looking forward to reviewing this year's "radical and game-changing ideas".

This year the Award has also launched a winners' network for those commercialising their inventions. There will be events and networking opportunities for past winners to connect, share experiences and consider inter-winner mentorship.