A Carrickfergus woman has picked up the top prize at the Engineers in Business competition after co-developing a wearable alert system.
Emma McQuiggan is part of the Stand team with fellow student, Ben Lindsay. Together the pair invented BOLD, a smart safety alert system which looks like a piece of contemporary jewellery.
If the wearer feels at risk, they simply press their BOLD and it automatically sends their location and a text to pre-selected contacts without having to use a mobile phone. BOLD uses a new low power mobile standard called NB-IoT which allows the product to be much smaller and more discrete than any other previous technology.
Ten teams that won their university heat of their Dragons’ Den style competitions reached the Grand Final on October 28, where they competed for a share of £10,000 and mentoring to help them take their business innovation to the next step, be that developing a prototype, product testing or marketing.
The Gold Award of £3,000 went to Mechanical Engineering student Emma and Ben, a Product Design Engineering student at Queen’s University Belfast.
Commenting at the awards ceremony Ben and Emma said: “We’re over the moon. A lot of work and effort has gone into this point and to have it pay-off is great. We can now relax knowing that we did a good job and that we got there.
“We’re really looking forward to the future and what this competition will do for our future and the products we will develop with STAND.”
David Falzani MBE, President of Engineers in Business Fellowship which runs the competition with 27 universities throughout the UK, said: “Our finalists presented a diversity of high-quality innovations and it was an incredibly difficult decision to select the winners. Emma and Ben won the top prize for their ingenuity and passion in tackling a long-standing personal safety issue that affects millions of women and men each year.
“Our Engineers in Business Competition promotes the importance and value of business education for engineers to inspire them to create products and services that improve people’s lives, the environment and the economy.
“Research shows that introducing business education to young engineers and technologists makes them better engineers, makes them more employable, more effective in the workplace, and is better for the engineering profession and the UK economy.
“We provide universities with funding for a dedicated engineers prize and this has resulted in a 25% uplift in the number of engineers taking part in business innovation competitions at the 27 universities EIBF sponsors.
“The Champion of Champions Grand Final competitors have shown incredible imagination in the development of diverse ideas, from Stand’s personal safety device to environmentally friendly surfboards! We wish Ben and Emma every success as they move forward with the challenging and exciting phases of developing their company.”