Students were encouraged to develop product ideas from their own interests, as part of a UKIPO drive to stimulate IP awareness in innovators of the near future. The competition was open to children aged between 14 and 16, and produced strong showings from Watford Grammar School for Girls and Queen Elizabeth’s Boys School, both in Hertfordshire.
Winner of the First Prize in the Design and Technology category was Tim Khoo of Queen Elizabeth’s with his ‘Cork Screw Guitar Capo’ – a new kind of fastener for holding guitar parts together. Second Prize went to Justin Thornhill, also of Queen Elizabeth’s, for ‘Cycloptic’ – a weight-bearing plastic clip that allows bicycle enthusiasts to store their rides above floor-level and control clutter. Taking Third Prize – and perhaps the unofficial Acquired Taste award – was Grant Johnson of Somervale School in Bath, for coming up with the ‘Big Breakfast Smoothie’ – a beverage/soup that advertises itself as ‘Bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato and bread, blended together and served hot!’
In the more theory-based Business Studies category, Deepanjli Motala, Megha Bavaria and Josie Appleby – all of Watford Grammar – won First, Second and Third Prize respectively. All students were required to develop banding and marketing plans for their ideas and submit them to the judging panel, which included Ian Punter from Designing magazine and Cathy Koester of British Music Rights.
UKIPO chief executive, Ian Fletcher, congratulated all who entered: ‘This year's record number of entries shows that the work done to raise intellectual property awareness in education has been very successful. The UK Intellectual Property Office will continue to work closely with schools and Universities to ensure students fulfil their potential. Ideas are a precious resource on which successful enterprises can be built. The THINK kit awards highlight the wealth of ideas that are generated in our schools today and I am impressed by the talent shown by the entrants.’
Science and Innovation Minister, Malcolm Wicks, said: ‘Our students of today will become the business people and wealth creators of tomorrow, and they need to know how to protect their good ideas. We want to encourage innovation and creativity, and this competition is a great way for young people to gain an understanding of intellectual property issues.’
Mr Wicks will present the awards at a special THINK kit ceremony at the Department of Trade and Industry Conference Centre in London on 20 June.