Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust have announced the winners of The Young Innovators’ Awards 2021, with many recipients focusing on healthcare and health technology inventions.
According to UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the country’s national funding agency for science and research, this year saw an ‘unprecedented level of entries’ and 64 young people received the award.
There are award recipients from each of the four nations in the UK, including from all nine regions of England. The chosen 64 entrepreneurs for 2021, aged between 18 to 30, offer a potential glimpse of what’s to come from the next generation of innovators, in a variety of industries and sectors.
As per KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network), this year the exciting award winners related to the health tech and healthcare sectors included:
- Nina Birchard (Scotland) – the product design engineer is developing the Newborn Rescue Towel, a ‘low-cost’ and ‘non-invasive’ emergency medical device to help with newborn resuscitation, particularly in low-resource environments.
- Iona Mackenzie (Scotland) – Iona’s business, Talk and Grow, is a streamlined booking and matching platform that helps people find counsellors in their local area.
- Ryan Scollan (Northern Ireland) – Ryan is developing an athlete monitoring system called Optimal, through his company Gscience. It aims to provide evidence-based ‘actionable insights’ into training, injuries, wellness and performance.
- Sean McCarthy (North West) – Sean has designed a product called HDA (First Aid Pack), which includes instructions in basic first aid for civilians, as well as kit to treat minor to moderate injuries and ailments.
- Rory O’Moore (North West) – Rory wants to modernise medical IDs, aiming to use ‘near-field communication and QR technology’ to develop smart IDs that share relevant information, for example allergies and emergency contacts, to nearby smartphones.
- Michael Omotosho (Yorkshire & the Humber) – an industrial designer, Michael has developed a product called Plu-gull, an electrical plug pull that is designed with those suffering from arthritis or related challenges in mind, making it easier to remove plugs from sockets.
- Shayan Ahmed (West Midlands) — Shayan wants to improve NHS services with Lisn Solution, which combines mobile app technology with a machine learning engine and dashboard to collect anonymous NHS staff feedback and convert it into useful insight.
- Michelle Best (East Midlands) – the founder of Blossom & Best produces clothing for young people with medical conditions and disabilities, whose symptoms include incontinence.
- Kate Walker (East Midlands) – the product design engineering graduate has designed upper limb 3D printed prosthetics that can be adjusted as a child grows, through ExpHand Prosthetics.
- Diana Kviatkovskaja (South West) – Diana is developing a wearable device and app for lower limb amputees that provides ‘improved and targeted care’ and can help clinicians with mobility insights.
- William Testeil (South West) — William hopes to develop the Family Wellbeing app, which will help families improve their health collectively.
- Ellis Parry (South East) – the founder of Neumind wants to develop a smart phone app called Alfred, which will use technology to ‘augment’ users’ memories and executive functions, helping both those with neurological conditions and their care network.
- Lucy Watts (East of England) – Lucy aims to empower people with disabilities and illness though her e-learning platform.
- Penelope Roberts (East of England) – the PhD student is creating robotic companions for users in hospitals and care homes, through her company, RoboNurse4NHS.
- Pete Barr (London) – Pete is working on a visual art tool called Enayball, which will enable people with disabilities or paralysis to draw and paint independently.
- Eve Gregoriou (London) – the PhD researcher and her company, NeuroVirt, are aiming to help stroke survivors with their recovery via virtual reality devices and haptic data gloves that can turn aspects of rehabilitation into a ‘game’.
- Emilia Molimpakis (London) – Emilia’s online platform uses video games and facial analysis to help clinicians treat and monitor the progression of conditions such as depression.
The awards are part of the Young Innovators programme, which is a partnership between Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body that’s part of the UKRI and funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government, and the charity The Prince’s Trust, set up by Charles, Prince of Wales to support young people.
The winners will benefit from a £5,000 grant each, one-on-one business coaching and an allowance to cover their living costs.