A team of nine BAE Systems apprentices has been declared the winner of the Make it in Great Britain Challenge.
The competition aimed to find innovative pre-market products, processes and concepts. The winning team stormed to victory with BedFlex, an exercise system that allows amputees and critical-care patients to regain muscle tone through a variety of exercises while confined to a bed or wheelchair.
Unlike existing physiotherapy tools, BedFlex has an innovative attachment which means the elastic cannot slip or come undone.
Sean Gallagher, a member of the winning BAE Systems apprentice team, said: “We hope our achievement will help to tackle outdated perceptions of the manufacturing sector by highlighting the innovation taking place in Britain today.
“To see our invention on display at the world-famous Science Museum was a very rewarding experience, and we are delighted to be crowned the overall winner of this national competition – it’s an incredible feeling.”
The apprentices developed the device over the course of nine months. They researched, designed and prototyped the device from start to finish.
The hope is that in the long run BedFlex could provide the NHS with an effective and low-cost exercise solution. The device is already being trialled at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
BedFlex was on display, along with four other innovations that made it to the finals of the challenge, as part of the Make it in Great Britain exhibition at the Science Museum earlier this month.
Other finalists included a technology that could offer relief to tinnitus sufferers, an eco-friendly alternative to everyday cement that could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%, and a pushchair that can be folded down to a 32-litre-size rucksack.
Members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite of the five innovations.
The BAE Systems apprentices will receive an award for their success at the Best Factory Awards 2012, taking place later this month.
- To find out more visit makeitingreatbritain.bis.gov.uk