Trinity College DublinThe 10th international James Dyson Award was launched in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) this morning.

Dyson engineer Nick Schneider from Dyson UK headquarters addressed the TCD School of Engineering and challenged students to think differently to solve problems at a special invention workshop.

They will compete with students from 18 countries across the world to win the top prize of €36,000 and a further €12,000 for their university. The total prize fund this year is £100,000 (€120,000).

Speaking at today’s launch, Prof Gareth J Bennett from the School of Engineering said excellence in design innovation is the solution to Ireland’s troubled economy.

“Engineering students are naturally creative. Our job is to provide inspiring learning environments to foster and develop their skills. By providing an opportunity to the students for experiential learning while applying the academic knowledge obtained, we can deliver graduates who can both pioneer new companies to create indigenous employment and help reinvent existing companies to make them more competitive.”

This year marks 10-year anniversary of James Dyson’s search for new and better ways to solve problems. In recent years the competition has discovered and supported inventors with ideas such as an upper-body robotic arm and a more efficient device to capture wave power.

“Developing and commercializing patentable technology is the hard part,” said Dyson.

“We must encourage and financially support young engineers to solve the problems of today – and tomorrow. I’m looking for people that don’t just have a brilliant idea, but also the burning desire to make it a reality.”

Irish students have performed impressively in the awards over the last ten years.  Last year a Dublin student’s sports gum shield invention to prevent second impact syndrome in athletes made the top 20 global finals.

Soon to be graduates can attend the Jobs Expo Dublin for direct contact with some of the top employers in the region.