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The BPA actively promote new product development through the Concept and Innovation Awards. For the finalists of the awards over the past six years, they have proven to be a remarkable channel for promoting and even launching their new products.
There were two prestigious industry awards this year: The BPA Concept Award, acknowledging unique designs still in their early visionary phase and the BPA Innovation Award, acknowledging unique products developed to a potential production stage.
The Concept and Innovation finalists were invited to exhibit their products or ideas at The Baby Show for Trade, 10th to 12th October 2010. The four finalists were selected from 63 initial entries and chosen from a group of semi-finalists who made a Dragon's Den style presentation in August 2010.
The finalists were delighted with the positive reception to their inventions from both visitors and fellow exhibitors alike. For the judges, deciding the winner of each category was a challenge as the high caliber of entries surpassed previous years.
The winners were presented their awards at an industry party on Sunday 10th October by Simon Veale from Global Freight Solutions (GFS) who sponsored the awards. GFS is the UK's premier parcel and carrier management company. They have partnerships with the UK's top carriers and provide an enhanced delivery service through the use of GFS technology and proactive customer care team. The BPA have partnered with GFS to offer an enhanced parcel management and innovative carrier experience to its members at a discounted rate.
BPA Concept Award Winner: Stuart Dark with his Portable Safety Harness
The harness is specifically designed to be highly portable and easy to use. It is not intended to replace a child car seat, but is aimed at the holiday and travel market such as in taxis and coaches, emergencies and unplanned journeys where legal exceptions to UK legislation on compulsory restraints for children exist. The harness has been designed to be compatible for use with an adult seat belt, a lap belt and an ISOFIX system and can be collapsed and packed down to a small size for easy portability and storage. The small, lightweight design makes this perfect to carry on holiday where a carer might not be able to take a bulky car seat and where none is available at the destination.
BPA Innovation Award Winner: Richard Knight (Systematic Strategy Ltd) with his 5 Point Plus
Richard says his findings indicate that between 60-70% of children wriggle out of a car seat's 5 point harness, creating a potentially dangerous lap belt, even when travelling at low speeds. The 5 Point Plus is a product that, when fitted to a car restraint harness, looks a little like a waistcoat and eliminates the gap where a child can slip their arms out of the standard harness, whilst still allowing the child to be removed with a single press of the harness release button. The generic design fits most child car seat models and the initial target range is for children of 18 months to 3 years of age.
BPA Concept Award Finalist: David Menezes with FlexiTravel
The FlexiTravel system is one simple, lightweight solution that provides travelers with a travel cot, activity gym, bath, changing mat and protective tent. It can be folded flat and stored in its stylishly branded carrying bag which provides storage for other essential items too. Being so compact means that the FlexiTravel can be fitted into some of the tiniest car boots or wherever is convenient for the owner. The change of usage is easy and quick thanks to the gate-fold design and it is protected by its rugged outer casing. It has easy to clean, soft inner panels and the inventor also intends to extend the range with a full range of accessories to compliment this product. The FlexiTravel allows you to take the indoors…outdoors.
BPA Innovation Award Finalist: Donna Heaton with Monkey Swimmers
Monkey Swimmers is a brand that incorporates uniquely designed, colourful armbands made from skin friendly and environmentally friendly reusable foam. As a child's confidence in the water grows, the buoyancy can be reduced by removing foam layers. These armbands are supplied with a brightly coloured and beautifully illustrated children's book called 'Monkeys can't swim'. The book tells the story of two baby monkeys who cannot swim, but with their new Monkey Swimmers they feel much more confident and get in the water with their rainforest friends. As their confidence and their ability grows, foam layers are removed and the little monkeys are rewarded with their progress recorded on their own personal progress chart until they are confident enough to enter the water without any help at all.
The BPA strongly advise entrants to safeguard and secure the Intellectual Property and design rights for their products. Although the BPA employees and members of the judging panel sign confidentiality agreements, finalistists are asked to showcase their product to the industry and therefore the product will be in the public domain. Richard Knight of Systematic Strategy Ltd was advised by patent attorneys at Withers & Rogers, one of the UK's top ten patent and trade mark attorney firms.
If you are interested in entering the BPA's Concept & Innovation Awards in 2011, please email Julie James at email@example.com or telephone: 0845 456 9570.