Commercial and industrial developments dominate at Invention Awards

The British Invention Awards have become a platform for serious IP and technology transfer and entries this year included a hydrogen powered car, sensorless linear motors and metal injection moulding.

It did, of course, play host to the sublime and ridiculous that included aphrodisiac bed sheets, magnetic tea towels and a personal sports submarine. But it was the commercial and industrial developments that dominated the Awards.

The British Invention of the Year went to Paul Sparrow for his EasyRead spirit level. It uses stainless steel mirrors to allow them to be read from one end or from a 45ยบ angle offset to the levelling face. The award for Best Design went to TL Audio for its Fatman iTube Carbon 2 which uses a unique vacuum tube based technology to get the best possible sound from an iPod.

The overall winner was Chew Kean Khoon from the Universiti Sains Malaysia for a synthetic bone replacement material that can be injected. The material is a composite made of calcium phosphate cement reinforced with functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes and bovine serum albumin, will greatly reduce the time bones take to heal after a break or after orthopaedic surgery.

Advanced sustainable materials developed in Malaysia were very prominent at the event, the Diamond Award for Innovation went to Norashakin Mat Zain from the Universiti Malaysia Pahang for developing biodegradable packaging films from waste products.

Dr Tom Shelley

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