The opportunity to change lives with Blackwood

The opportunity to change lives with Blackwood

Aspiring designers, engineers and inventors are being given the opportunity to battle it out in a Dragons Den inspired event which could change the lives of disabled people.

The annual Blackwood Design Awards, from Scottish housing and social care provider Blackwood,  welcome amateurs and professionals to showcase their innovations which can be put to use to improve daily tasks for people with physical or mental disabilities.

Previous winners have included a spoon that doesn’t spill, benefitting people with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s and other conditions which cause shaking, and an eye-controlled wheelchair. This year the competition will be made up of two distinct categories – Best New Product and Best New Concept.

Colin Foskett, head of innovation at Blackwood, said:  “We’ve been delighted with the way the annual awards have caught the imagination and developed into an important way to bring through genuinely revolutionary and life changing products.

“By adding the additional category for this year’s competition, we are aiming to support, and promote even more new design talent.

“Some of the designs we have previously seen are revolutionary and have benefited the lives of many others, and we expect this year’s designs to be no different.”

The mostly highly contested category is expected to be the ‘Best New Concept’, which invites investors and developers to come forward with ideas that are not yet readily available.

With up to £2,000 up for grabs, the winner has the chance to have their dream product made into a reality.

The winner will also receive support from 4c Design, one of Scotland’s top product design companies, which designed the Queen’s Baton for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

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, Scotland’s leading 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.

Colin Foskett added: “At Blackwood, our aim is to enable our customers and tenants to live their lives to the full and by investing in future technologies and equipment we believe we are successfully able to do this.

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



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