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World-improving inventions named winners of the James Dyson Award

This year, Sir James Dyson chose three global winners, each receiving prize money to support the next stages of their inventions.

18 November 2021

In 2021, the James Dyson Award received a record number of entries worldwide and Sir James Dyson chose three global winners, each receiving $55,000 AUD in prize money to support the next stages of their inventions. This is the first time there has been three winners. The James Dyson Foundation has now given nearly $1.8 million AUD in prize money to over 250 promising inventions from young engineers and scientists in 28 countries around the world.

Commenting on this year’s competition, Sir James Dyson said:

“I enjoy seeing the enthusiasm with which young people tackle the world’s problems using good design, engineering and science. So promising were this year’s entries that we’ve awarded a third prize, focused on medical invention. Commercialising an idea is very hard – I hope that the awareness that the award drives, as well as the financial support it provides, will give these ideas a springboard to success.”

International Winner



  • The problem

    It is estimated that 2% of New Zealanders over 40 have glaucoma. There is no cure but, if diagnosed and treated early, blindness can be prevented.

    The solution

    HOPES (which stands for Home eye Pressure E-skin Sensor) is a wearable biomedical device for pain-free, low cost, at-home IOP testing. Powered by patent pending sensor technology and artificial intelligence, HOPES is a convenient device for users to frequently self-monitor IOP.

Sustainability Winner

  • Plastic Scanner

    Plastic Scanner

  • The problem

    Plastic has a bad reputation because it is often not thought to be recyclable and so ends up in landfill, or worse on the beach or in our oceans. However, with the right technologies plastics can be widely recycled successfully at end of life and transformed into new products, which themselves are long-lasting and durable.

    The solution

    The Plastic Scanner is a handheld device that when held against plastic will tell the user what materials it’s made from, using infrared light to detect the plastic components. The Plastic Scanner uses discrete infrared light to detect types of plastic – a new and low-cost approach to traditional infrared spectroscopy. The Scanner is also fully open-source hardware, so anyone can assemble the breakout board and embed the electronics into a handheld device.

Medical Winner



  • The problem

    In 2019, the number of Aucklanders going to emergency departments and being hospitalise with stab wounds is increasing.2

    The solution

    The REACT device (which stands for Rapid Emergency Actuating Tamponade) aims to reduce catastrophic blood loss from a knife wound. The current advice for treating stab wounds is to never remove the knife object from the wound if it is still in place.3 This is because the object is applying internal pressure to the wound site whilst also filling the cavity and preventing internal bleeding.

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