Finalists announced for 2023 Design Innovation in Plastics competition


Design students entering this year’s Design Innovation in Plastics competition, sponsored by Covestro, have used ʺout of the box thinkingʺ and produced ʺinnovative solutionsʺ, according to head judge, Richard Brown.

His comments follow the announcement of the finalists for the 2023 competition. This competition, contested annually by university undergraduates in the UK and Ireland, has asked the students to design a functional item for the kitchen or bathroom, made primarily from plastics, which is an original concept or a significant improvement on an existing product.

Mr Brown said the students had worked hard to tackle the brief to design an item for the bathroom or kitchen which might meet the needs of the young or the elderly or those with disabilities – an area where there are already many products on the market.

ʺThis made it a challenging brief and the finalists have done well to raise the awareness of the judges in some of the areas they have addressed,ʺ he commented. ʺOur finalists have all been provided with feedback and guidance to help them refine their products before they present them at the final judging stage.ʺ

As well as five finalists, another student has been chosen to receive a new award. This year it was decided to introduce an additional category for an entry which did not quite make the final cut, but which still recognises the talent which has gone into creating an innovative product or design. The category has been named ‘The Robin Jones Award’ in memory of a former DIP committee member who sadly passed away last year.

All the finalists, along with the recipient of the Robin Jones Award, have been invited to attend a training course provided by a new DIP industry sponsor Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, which will give them the opportunity to take on board new ideas as they finesse their products.

The six students are:
• Frederick Blake (Bournemouth University): ‘Bubble Buddy’
• Kyle Farquhar (Edinburgh Napier University): ‘Plate Mate’
• James Forrest-Smith (Northumbria University): ‘Kitchen Helper’
• Christopher Kenny (TU Dublin): ‘Flossie’
• Scott Rutherford (Edinburgh Napier University): ‘Rotary Bottle Opener’
• Teresa Zheng (Loughborough University): ‘Pocket Operation Panel’

Design Innovation in Plastics is the longest running plastics competition of its kind in Europe, having been established in 1985. It is supported by the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining, the Worshipful Company of Horners and sponsored by leading design and plastics organisations, including Covestro, which is the headline industry sponsor.

The finalists will be presenting their products to the judges at an all-day session in London on May 26. The final result will be announced at a ceremony in London on July 7.


About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and
methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 15.9 billion in fiscal 2021. At the end of 2021, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

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