Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today (20/11/07) I had the pleasure of attending the awards ceremony at The Lightbox, Woking where the six finalists of the UKIPO “Cracking idea” competition received their awards.

The six regional finalists were;

Midlands and East region – Brampton Villiage Primary School
South West Region – East Allington Primary School
Wales – Glasllwch Primary school
North East region – Marden Bridge Middle School
South East region – Senacre Wood Primary School
North West region – Marden Bridge Middle School

Among the winning ideas was a dog walking machine, a machine for washing windows and bathrooms and a pair of “helpful hands” designed to “do helpful tasks for you whilst you watch TV”

The overall winning idea was “The Waker-Upper 3000” a machine designed to keep you awake no matter how dull or boring the work you are doing, nor how tired you might be! The winning designers, pupils from East Allington Primary School, were presented with an original trophy created by Aardman Animations. Each of the six regional finalists received a laptop computer and other bits and pieces along with a framed certificate.

Before the presentation of the awards Lord Triesman, the Minister for Innovation, spoke of the importance of IP for the future of the country as he marvelled at the quality of the inventions. He went on to remind the children that not only adults can have IP, children do too!

Lawrence Higgins-smith of the UKIPO was reading out a message of apology from Nick Park, who was unable to attend the ceremony, when a knock on a side door heralded the arrival of Wallace and Gromit much to the delight of the children (and some of the adults!) present.

What I think was probably the high point for the young winning designers was learning that the production team from Dr Who had actually made a prototype of their device which the children were kind enough to model for us.

Maria Lampert
British Library

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