‘Embrace Failure’ – James Dyson

Sir James Dyson discusses prototyping, failure and patents

In a recent interview on Radio 2’s breakfast show, British inventor Sir James Dyson talks about why he sees failure as something exciting which should be embraced. He also answers questions on whether he’s ever invented something in a dream, how many patents they hold and whether he uses his own hairdryers…

It a great, short interview – well worth a listen on the Radio Two website. 

Innovative clothes that grow with your baby…

Example of design focused innovation

Buying new clothes every few months for a growing child can be costly and resource consuming. This is why engineer Ryan Yasin, 24 has come up with new children’s clothing range, ‘Petit Pli.’ Petit Pli clothes are made from an inventive new material inspired by solar panels and satellites. The material grows along with the child – so one garment can be seven sizes in one!

Petit Pli was the result of over 500 prototypes and now Yasin’s efforts have been recognised through becoming the UK winner of the James Dyson Award! But he is not stopping there, him and the team are currently working towards trying to make a garment out of a single material, allowing for it to be recycled more easily!

Read more about Ryan Yasin and his innovative design on the Wired website. 



Paid Internships with Nesta Innovation Foundation

Recent graduate interested in working for an innovative organisation?

Nesta are an innovation foundation, their mission is to ‘seek out, spark and shape powerful new ideas, joining with others to take on the big challenges of our time and shift how the world works for everyone.’ They are currently advertising 12 six month internships, within a variety of areas across the organisation including, government innovation, International innovation, Health and Design. All internships at to be paid at London Living Wage.

Maybe you’re a graduate looking to take your next steps? Why not take a look to see if something catches your eye? The full list can be found on the Nesta website.

Applications close at 10am on Tuesday the 29th of August 2017.


Venturefest Manchester 2017

‘Get your idea out there, find investment and accelerate growth’

Venturefest brings together SMEs with investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and academics to connect and do business. It is an ideal opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, learn how to bring innovative new concepts to market and get your idea out there. The event will include a number of panel discussions, keynote speakers and much more.

When? 14th September, 9am-2:30pm

Where? Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

One of the event highlights is the Innovation Showcase Competition, with £40,000 worth of prizes and a chance to pitch to an audience of potential investors! Small and medium-sized enterprises across the North West are invited to submit their entries online within one of the two categories – Startup or Growth by the 30th June.

To find out more about Venturefest and register your attendance visit their website here.


Become a Creative Problem Solver

Crash Course in Design Thinking with Humera Fasihuddin from Stanford University’s d.school

If you are interested in developing the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to address complex challenges and compete in the economy of the future, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

At Stanford University’s, d.School, San Francisco they believe everyone has the potential to be creative and become an innovator. Through experiential student centred, team taught learning experiences, they help people from all subject disciplines to develop their creative abilities and use design to collaborate, solve challenges and create change.

No matter what you are studying at Lancaster, we invite you to immerse yourself in a one off Stanford University d.School experience with Lancaster University Enterprise Team and their guest, d.School’s Humera Fasihuddin.

Passionate about design thinking, Humera is involved in a number of innovation programmes at Stanford including ‘University Innovation Fellows’, a community of educators and students from around the world who are leading a movement and becoming agents of change using design.

In this bespoke ‘Design Thinking Crash Course’  you will experience how d.School teach design thinking by participating in and experiencing a full challenge driven design cycle.

Empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test… this will be hands on team action learning session and something totally unique.

We hope you will take away some of the basic principles of Design Thinking, start to adapt them into your personal routines, and feel inspired about new ways of understanding and tackling future business, sector and world challenges.

With your new perspectives on your potential you can experiment after this session in our weekly IdeasLabs sessions on Wednesdays in the Learning Zone.

Take a look at the sort of things the d.school do: d.school Bootcamp: The Student Experience

When? Wednesday 17th May 10am-12:30pm

Where? Management School Collaboration Suite (Lecture Theatre 10)

Book a Place: This event is open to all but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Secure your space now on Target Connect! Students who book a place are expected to attend and give at least 24 hours notice of cancellation.

This event is delivered as part of the U Start Project – part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 

ICURe Innovation-to-Commercialisation Programme

Up to £50k for university researchers with commercially-promising ideas

ICURe is a collaboration of the SETsquared Partnership, Innovate UK and BEIS, which has been designed to help move ideas and innovation out of universities and into the marketplace, where they will have the greatest impact.

ICURe will fund teams to determine whether there is a market for products or services that utilise their research, and then, where there is evidence of market demand, licence or spin-out the research into a company.

The programme will accept applications for teams based at UK universities consisting of a Junior (early career) Researcher, Senior Researcher (Principal Investigator) and a Business Adviser.

Cohort 9 application deadline: 24th April 2017

For further details on the programme and application, please visit the setsquared webpages. 

College Sustainability Challenge

Win £750 to make Lancaster University campus more sustainable!

Take part in this year’s nine college sustainability challenge!

The competition will involve students developing and presenting innovative ideas in response to challenges set by the University. The idea which is considered to be best researched, most innovative and most actionable by the esteemed panel of judges will win a £750 prize, with runners up receiving £250.

This is your chance to:

  • Help Lancaster University become more environmentally sustainable.
  • Work across disciplines with others in your college.
  • Win funding to make your idea happen.
  • Gain experience that will give you new skills and help impress future employers.

Teams will receive the support of a coach and will be introduced to experts relevant to their idea from across campus. The competition will culminate in week 9 when ideas will be pitched to a panel of experts.

If you would be interested in being a member of your college’s team or would like more information please contact Joe Bourne in LUSU. Applications are encouraged from all faculties and levels of experience.

Spark! Contest 2017

“Why SMR?”

Do you have an idea about the unique role that Small Modular Reactor deployment could play in the future challenges of a global energy supply?

The Spark! Content, a Franco-British energy innovation challenge, is now open for entries. The two round contest is overseen by Energy industries and is sponsored by EDF, Rolls-Royce, Assystem and Atkins. The aim of the competition is to bring talented innovators closer to the energy industry by developing international and professional team working skills, as well as encouraging the brightest minds to collaborate.

Prizes include internships, scholarships and introductions to senior stakeholders amongst many other incentives yet to be announced.

Spark! is open to any current student or recent graduate studying at French or British universities and teams of up to 3 people may apply.

To enter, prepare a 500 word one pager on the subject of “Why SMR?” and submit by 16th December 2016.

Find out more about the Spark! Contest 2017 here, and how to participate in this year’s challenge.

Thinking outside the box (literally)…

Why did Dutch bicycle company, VanMoof start printing TVs on the side of their delivery boxes?

VanMoof, co-founded in 2008 by brothers Taco and Ties Carlier built a strong and fast growing company with a good reputation, successful website and orders coming in from all over the world. However they had one major problem… The bicycles were continuously arriving to customers damaged. After trying a range of delivery partners, the solution came in the form of a simple yet innovative design hack… if TV’s can be transported worldwide without damage – why can’t bicycles?

To read the full article on Hotfoot Design’s website click here.

Innovate 2016

The Global Spotlight on UK Innovation

Hosted by the Department for International Trade and Innovate UK, Innovate 2016 is the UK’s largest Innovation conference, exhibition and networking event. This year it is coming to Manchester to showcase some of the UK’s most exciting innovations.

The event is your chance to learn from a number of inspirational guest speakers, attend practical workshops and seminars, network with buyers, investors and fellow innovators whilst also discovering what sorts of government business support you can access.

The event will be held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on the 2-3 November.

For more details and to purchase tickets visit the Innovate 2016 website.