BAE Systems wins Make it in Great Britain Challenge

Posted on 19 Sep 2012

BAE Systems' group of apprentices, based in Preston, designed and manufactured the winning product: the 'BedFlex' - an elastic attachment for use by recovering amputees and critical care patients.

Based in Preston, the contestants from BAE Systems’ designed the BedFlex to enable patients to secure resistance tubing to a stable object (a bed, for example) without the risk of the elastic slipping or coming undone – a common problem with existing physiotherapy tools which use resistance tubing.

Over 40,000 people came to the Make it in Great Britain exhibition, and the contestants were judged by the public as opposed to manufacturers or a panel of judges.

Sean Gallagher, part of the winning team, said: “[We] hope our achievement will help to tackle outdated perceptions of the manufacturing sector by highlighting the innovation taking place in Britain today.”

He added: “To see our invention on display at the Science Museum was a very rewarding experience, and we are delighted to be crowned the overall winner of this national competition – it’s an incredible feeling.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon praised the winning team: “[The BedFlex team] have put the skills they gained from their apprenticeships into creating this winning piece of technology. All of the finalists should be proud of their success at making it to the Make it in Great Britain Exhibition.

Alongside BedFleX, other finalists of the competition invented a new technology which could offer relief to tinnitus sufferers, an eco-friendly alternative to everyday cement that could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% and a pushchair that can be folded down to a 32 litre-size rucksack.