From left: Chloe Meineck, designer of the Music Memory Box; and Doddl cutlery set creators, sisters Catherine Dodd and Rosie Phelps.
A children’s cutlery set and a musical memory box for dementia sufferers were the winning designs in the Women With Bright Ideas competition – supported by NT CADCAM, one of the UK’s most established SOLIDWORKS resellers.
The Dragons Den-style competition was launched by the Engineering and Innovation Network South West (EIN-SW) to celebrate National Women In Engineering Day, and 25 budding entrepreneurs and designers from all over the country entered their ideas.
The winning Musical Memory Box designed by Chloe Meineck uses radio frequency identification tags, to prompt a memory with sound for people with dementia. doddl, an ergonomically designed cutlery set which will revolutionise mealtimes for young children, designed by two sisters Rosie Phelps and Catherine Dodd, was also selected from seven top entries.
“The standard was very high,” says Ian Weston, Women With Bright Ideas judge and NT CADCAM’s UK sales manager. “All the finalists had found a gap in their specialist fields and pushed through it with hands on experience. It was tremendous fun as well as being very enlightening as all the ideas were revolutionary in their approach.”
Fellow judge and Engineering Innovation Network South West project manager Haydn Earl said: “All the finalists were winners and the Engineering Innovation Network South West is committed to helping them all get to market. These two products particularly stood out. This competition was all about getting those bright ideas out of your cupboard or garden shed and onto the road to becoming a commercial reality.”
The competition aims to get more women involved in engineering and break stereotypes surrounding the industry. These businesses will be assisted by a £375,000 grant from the European Regional Development Fund.
doddl director Catherine Dodd said: “ Women need to know that engineering is not what you may stereotypically think of: i.e. someone in a boiler suit up to your neck in grease and complex parts. It can be something much more subtle, simple and refined."