Groundbreaking advances in manufacturing that reduce concrete waste, lower R&D costs and improve the accuracy of production processes were the highlight at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Innovation Awards ceremony in central London last night.
Double award-winner FlexEnable triumphed for its development of a full-colour, low-cost LCD manufacturing process that will improve production methods across multiple industries including wearables, mobile, automotive and digital signage. It took the prize in both the Emerging Technology Design and Start-up categories.
Laing O’Rourke stood out for its development of a system that uses laser scanning to verify complex precast concrete products, thereby significantly reducing waste. It took the prize in the Manufacturing Technology category.
A time and cost-saving simulation software for the design of integrated e-powertrains developed by Romax Technology scooped the top prize in the Model-Based Engineering category. The revolutionary software enables users to optimise their design and development process while maintaining quality and accuracy.
Other winning and shortlisted entries featured ideas that are set to have a potentially game-changing impact on society, improving the way we live and work. They were chosen from more than 300 entries from 25 countries by a distinguished panel of industry experts and include new ways of improving healthcare and patient safety, cutting energy consumption, combating terrorism and increasing cyber security.
The 2016 IET Innovation Award winners:
- Communications: Wayfindr – An audio navigation system that helps visually impaired people navigate the London Underground.
- Cyber Security: Glasswall – For a new technology which reduces the risk of malware attacks through document sharing.
- Emerging Technology Design: FlexEnable – A full-colour, low-cost LCD manufacturing process that will improve production methods across multiple industries including wearables, mobile, automotive and digital signage.
- Energy: Arctic Circle Ltd – A low-cost, maintenance-free device that improves the performance and efficiency of refrigeration systems. It can be incorporated into new systems or retrofitted to existing ones.
- Healthcare Technologies: Sonikure Technology Ltd – Low energy ultrasonic technology for non-invasive and needleless ocular drug delivery.
- Horizontal Innovation: Williams Advanced Engineering and Aerofoil Energy Ltd – applying F1 aerodynamics to help supermarket fridges become more energy efficient.
- Information Technology: Bournemouth University and Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – A virtual reality simulator for hip replacement surgery to improve patient safety.
- Intelligent Systems: Kromek Group plc – Intelligent radiation detection networks to defend against nuclear terrorism.
- Manufacturing Technology: Laing O’ Rourke – Laser verification of complex precast concrete products.
- Model-Based Engineering: Romax Technology – A time and cost-saving simulation software that enables users to optimise their design and development process whilst maintaining quality and accuracy.
- Navigation and Surveillance Communications: Kromek Group plc -Intelligent radiation detection networks to defend against nuclear terrorism.
- Power: UK Power Networks – Soft Open Points, an innovative use of power electronics that enables capacity sharing, voltage control and power factor support which could unlock savings of over £110 million for electricity bill-payers.
- Start-up: FlexEnable – A full-colour, low-cost LCD manufacturing process that will improve production methods across multiple industries including wearables, mobile, automotive and digital signage.
- Sustainability: Samatoa Lotus Textiles – A 100% ecological fabric using lotus stems that would otherwise be considered as waste. The lotus fibre is the only known natural microfibre and is naturally soft, light, breathable and almost wrinkle free.
- Transport: Loughborough University – Repoint, a breakthrough in failsafe rail track switching that offers the potential for increased capacity and reduced maintenance alongside a reduced whole life cost – without the need to build new railway tracks.
IET President, Jeremy Watson CBE commented: “Our Innovation Awards put the achievements of the incredible inventors who work in engineering and technology around the world into the spotlight and play a critical role in helping them further their endeavors.
“Innovation is an essential cornerstone for the growth of the global economy and raising the standard of living in all communities. It is a key differentiator that makes companies and projects successful and, in keeping with the IET’s mission to inspire excellence in engineering and technology, we are immensely proud to recognise, celebrate and show our support for these exceptional achievements.”