The James Dyson Foundation has announced the national winners of the 2014 James Dyson Awards. Engineers were tasked with creating something with a "significant and practical purpose", which are "commercially viable", and "designed with sustainability in mind."
The national winner and four runners up from each country will go on to the next stage of the competition, where the contenders will be whittled down to the 20 best, all of whom will have the chance to win the grand prize of £30,000.
The winners include: a backpack-fastening mechanism, a collapsible shopping trolley, a full body exoskeleton, as well as a host of other inventions.
Solveiga Pakstaite, a student of industrial design and technology at Brunel University, picked up the UK national prize for her "bio-reactive food expiry label." The product, called Bump Mark, gives consumers a more accurate way of telling if food has gone off than the traditional expiry date labels we use today.
Olga Volkova, a student of nanomaterials at NUST MISIS, received the Russian national prize for a hydroponic system that is small enough to use in the home. The system was designed to address issues like the growing population and declining areas of suitable farming land.
The Spanish national winner Alejandro Plasencia, a student of design engineering and concept development at UPF, designed Remora, which is a biodegradable fishing net that could reduce the amount of aquatic pollution.
James Dyson explained the goal of the foundation, saying, "We want to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists, we want to do this by hands-on learning and experimentation."
The full list of winners can be found here.