Inclusive Technology Prize

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The Inclusive Technology Prize aims to inspire technological innovation from British individuals and small businesses to improve or develop Assisted Living, aids, adaptations and products that will make a real difference to the lives of disabled people.

A particular focus will be the use of new or emerging technologies, design and manufacturing processes will be key features.

#IncTechPrize

Innovation for independence

Context

There are over 12.2 million people with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability in Great Britain. The prevalence of disability rises with age. Many disabled people rely on assisted living technologies to support them in their everyday lives. But there is a strong view that the development and manufacture of aids, adaptations and products has not kept pace with the use of new technologies, materials and design and manufacturing processes as seen in other areas (sport related products for disabled people being the notable exception).

Challenge Statement

We are looking for transformative innovation in products, technologies and systems that enable disabled people, their families, carers and communities’ equal access to life’s opportunities. Innovations can relate to any aspect of life including, but not exclusively to education, home, leisure, transport and work.        

Aims

The aim of the challenge is to stimulate the co-creation of innovative (new) or imaginative adaptations of accessible technologies and products which enable disabled people, their family and carers to live more independent lives.

The longer term goal is to stimulate a more diverse, competitive, innovative and healthy market for accessible technologies for all abilities.

Entry Criteria for the Inclusive Technology Prize

  • Open to ideas from all sources and sectors.
  • Open to individuals, groups, organisations (constituted or otherwise).
  • Willingness to share idea (IP remains with entrant).

Objectives

  • Generating public and media interest and excitement in accessible technologies and their ability to make life easier and more inclusive.
  • Facilitating the co-creation of new products, services and system that meet needs as defined by users themselves.
  • Championing a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation by supporting disabled people and amateur designer/makers to become assistive technology developers and entrepreneurs.
  • Forging new partnerships at a local and national level between technology users, developers, manufacturers, buyers and providers.
  • Building and a dynamic and vibrant market for accessible, functional, flexible and desirable assistive technologies.

Judging Criteria

The section below outlines the output from our working sessions with the Advisory panel and additional refinement from the core team within Nesta. It describes each criteria, what our judges would be looking for entrants to demonstrate against it, and how this might be measured or verified.

Criteria: Innovation

New, adapted or repurposed products, services, systems and technologies.

What judges will be looking for:

  • Products, services or systems that demonstrate a new or adaptive way of solving a problem or introducing a completely new approach to solving the problem.
  • Changing the paradigm – significantly different from solutions already available. New, aspirational, exciting, but practical.

Criteria: Insight

Demonstrate a real understanding of the situation being addressed.

What judges will be looking for:

  • This needs to be an equal partnership – who has defined the problem?
  • Wider appeal to mainstream audiences – interoperable and transferable to others.
  • Potential sustainability.
  • Good understanding of how it fits with what solutions are already out there.

Criteria: Impact

The degree to which the idea makes life easier and give more choice and control.

What judges will be looking for:

  • The difference it will make.
  • Does it address the needs it is required to address?
  • Choice –could anyone use this product/ service/ system.
  • Subjective versus objective perceptions of people.
  • Inclusion – the impact on everyone’s lives and the degree to which it enables people to do what they want to do and achieve what they want to achieve.

Criteria: Quality and Safety

Demonstrate how the idea will meet required safety measures, as well as being a high quality, ‘sexy’ product all members of society could potentially use.

What judges will be looking for:

  • Robustness, desirability, inclusivity, maintenance, ease of cleaning, functionality, aesthetics.
  • Safe and durable.
  • Weight, height, portability, size, aesthetics. Potential for customisation to the individual?
  • Wow, magic, beauty, sexy, eye catching, for different people.

Criteria: Scalability

Given consideration and research the commercial and growth potential.

What judges will be looking for:

  • How easy would it be to replicate, take to market.
  • Consideration and research into a business model.
  • Clear identification of who it will be sold to and how they are going to be reached.

Criteria: Affordability

Solution is accessible and affordable to a broad group of people.What judges will be looking for:

  • Value for money.
  • Appreciation of the cost to make and comparison to existing solutions.
  • Consideration for materials used to produce.

Read more about the application process for the Inclusive Technology Prize  NESTA inclusive technology prize

If you have an idea that could make a real impact on people’s lives, go to www.inclusivetechprize.org and enter now! The deadline for submissions is Friday 16 January, 2015. Enter Inclusive Tech prize