The James Dyson Award 2024 Is Offering RM176,000 To Malaysian Students & Graduates

The design and engineering competition is officially open for entries!

Cover image via James Dyson Award (Provided to SAYS)

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The James Dyson Award, an international student design and engineering competition, is officially open for entries, calling for inventions that tackle a real-world problem

Open to all engineering and design students and recent graduates, the award seeks ambitious designs that address global issues, ranging from cancer diagnosis to natural disasters.

With global recognition offered to an International Winner and a Sustainability Winner, past winners include:

  • An off-road ambulance trailer to rescue the wounded from conflict zones
  • A wearable biomedical device for pain-free, low-cost intraocular pressure testing for glaucoma
  • A device to control bleeding from stab wounds
Established in 2005, the competition has now supported over 400 young inventors with more than RM5 million in prize money. More than two-thirds of past global winners have pursued the commercialisation of their ideas.

The International Winner and global Sustainability Winner will receive RM176,000 each to support their next steps, while RM29,300 is offered to each National Winner in the 30 markets where the award is run.

2022 Singapore runner-up, Koh Bei Ning, invented Rollo, a pocket-sized itch reliever designed to help those with chronic itch.

Image via James Dyson Award (Provided to SAYS)

"The world needs more doers and problem-solvers, not grandstanders, who are ready to take on the problems of our time," said award founder and chief engineer Sir James Dyson

"Every year, the James Dyson Award gives young people a platform for their medical and environmental inventions, and much more besides. It's their 'wrong thinking' that leads to breakthroughs, whether it's the development of a new sustainable material, or the application of clever engineering principles to help improve people's lives. I look forward to seeing what new inventions this year's Award brings!" Dyson added.

Lim Zi Suen, a Malaysian inventor, made headlines when she became the national winner in 2023

Lim Zi Suen and her invention called Soapy.

Image via James Dyson Award (Provided to SAYS)

Lim's invention, called Soapy, is an educational toy designed to teach children how to wash their hands properly, following the suggested time duration.

As the national winner of the James Dyson Award, Lim received RM26,500 to continue her project. She hopes to continue expanding her idea with institutions in the educational sector to form a stronger voice in promoting the adoption of good hand hygiene practices among parents and schools.

"I'd like to think that we, as design engineers, can play a very significant role in society, using our creative thinking and impactful solutions as catalysts for positive change. Our society needs more of that now," Lim shared.

"The James Dyson Award has opened doors to connect with a diverse network of professionals, experts, and change-makers, and I am forever grateful for this opportunity," she concluded.

Previous recipients of the award have gone on to great success, thanks to the global media exposure and injection of funds that the prize offers

Among the past winners around the world are:

  • The Golden Capsule (South Korea) – a hands-free intravenous device designed for disaster zones, which can be strapped to the patient and does not rely on gravity.
  • HOPES (Singapore) – a wearable device for pain-free, low-cost glaucoma testing that patients can do at home.
  • MA-Pencil (Malaysia) – a multifunctional pencil set to guide children with autism to write independently.
  • WaterPod (Malaysia) – designed to be placed on the sea for the sea nomads to have access to drinking water easily.

HOPES, which won in 2021, is a wearable device for pain-free, low-cost glaucoma testing that patients can do at home.

Image via James Dyson Award (Provided to SAYS)

National winners and runners-up will be shortlisted down to a global Top 20 by a panel of expert Dyson engineers across different disciplines, and finally, Sir James Dyson himself will pick the best.

The National Winners will be announced on 11 September, the global Top 20 shortlist on 16 October, and the Global Winners on 13 November.

Find out how to apply on the official website.

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