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Special saucepan designed to help an ageing population wins student competition supported by DLF

14th December 2009
National charity the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) congratulates the winners of this year’s “Innovation Challenge” carried out in conjunction with product design agency PDD and students from Imperial College London.
Based on DLF’s brief to address issues associated with access, preparation or eating of food for an ageing population, the winning team designed an innovative saucepan with improved lifting and carrying features integrated with a unique method for draining liquids.
Over 11 weeks, eight teams of undergraduate students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering worked together to come up with design concepts that were then presented to a “Dragon’s Den” style judging panel consisting of:

  • Dave Clarke, Head of IT, Data Services and Helpline, DLF
  • Simon Colbeck, Head of Technology, M&S Home and Menswear Division
  • Rama Gheerawo, Innovation Manager, The Royal College of Art, Helen Hamlyn Centre.
  • Barry Lillis, Senior Consultant PDD

Dave Clarke, DLF's Head of IT, Data Services and Helpline commented: “As we age we start to face challenges with everyday daily living tasks and often a well designed piece of equipment can make all the difference. Making everyday products easier to use gives people back control and allows them to live independently in their own homes for longer. It was good to see that the students involved users in the design process which we think is essential.”
Simon Colbeck from M&S commented, “The standard of entry was very high so it made it difficult to make a decision. However, the winning design was one that meets a particular need of the ageing population, but being an excellent piece of design will also be attractive to a wider market.”
Annick Collins, Lecturer in Engineering Design, Imperial College London, said: “It was great to work on a collaborative project that involved academics and the voluntary and commercial sector. This project gave our students the opportunity to work with experienced designers to gain an industry perspective and focus on a design challenge that will become increasingly important as the population continues to age.”
Barry Lillis from PDD said: “Inclusiveness was key to this challenge and it makes real business sense for any product to be usable by the largest number of people possible. With an ageing population, it is vital to consider inclusiveness at all stages to the design process.”
The winning team members were Kiat Goh, Terence Leong and Lik Hin Daniel. The highly commended team were Vassil Botev, William Hunt, Omar Mustufvi and Douglas Weber-Steinhaus.
Notes to editors
About DLF
DLF is the UK’s leading source of impartial, expert information and advice on equipment to help older and disabled people continue to live full and independent lives and stay in their homes as long as possible
DLF is a national charity and is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009
For help and information about equipment and gadgets to make daily life easier, visit DLF’s impartial advice website www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk
DLF also runs AskSARA, its award-winning online advice tool that guides people to appropriate and personalised information on products that can help them live more independently. Visit www.asksara.org.uk
If you would like to try out daily living equipment for yourself under the guidance of a qualified therapist, you can visit DLF's London Demonstration Centre with hundreds of items on display
For further information contact Sharon Harbutt, Press Officer on 020 7432 8017
About The Innovation Challenge Brief
1. To research the subject area of Food and The Aging Population, in particular exploring issues around access, preparation and eating.
2. To generate conceptual sketches for a product or system that helps the aging population when obtaining, preparing and eating food (the topic of Food and the aging population). The concept should aim to embody the principles of inclusive design, i.e. to be usable by all people, without the need for adaptation or specialised design.
Conceptual sketches by student teams answering the proposed brief. All IP is owned by the students in line with the Imperial College Intellectual Property policy.
Judging Criteria
The judges judged the solution and concepts based on:

  • Overall Design
  • Uniqueness / IP / Innovativeness
  • User needs and benefit
  • Market attractiveness
  • Technical Feasibility
  • Finance (reward versus risk)

About PDD
Founded in 1980 and based in London, PDD provides integrated design and innovation skills and works with organisations worldwide to develop novel products and services that drive revenues and create competitive advantage.
PDD is an award winning consultancy, collecting eight awards in two years, certified to ISO 13485 medical quality assurance and quality assured to ISO 9001. Clients in 24 countries include Orange, LG, Baxter, Nestle, GlaxoSmithKline, Ford, Gillette, Samsung, Vocollect and Merck Serono.
Emily Miller Marketing and Business Development Director, PDD Ltd
T: +44 (0)20 8735 1111
E: emilymiller@pdd.co.uk
W: www.pdd.co.uk
For further PDD press information, please contact:
Caroline Bishop. PR at Spring Communications caroline@springcoms.com
Tel: 020 8567 0129/07768 067306
About Imperial College London
Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve health in the UK and globally, tackle climate change and develop clean and sustainable sources of energy.
For further information contact:
Annick Collins
Imperial College London
T: +44 (0)79 6774 2277
E: annick@imperial.ac.uk
W: www.imperial.ac.uk

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