The winner of the first Inventor Prize has been announced as Neurofenix Limited, an organisation founded by Guillem Singla Buxarrais and Dimitris Athanasiou, who have invented the Neuroball, a hand training device to support stroke survivors through their rehabilitation.
The Inventor Prize aims to support innovation and encourage UK inventors to develop products that will help people across the UK. Launched in August 2017 as a pilot run by Nesta and funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Inventor Prize put a call out to inventors to send in their ideas for products that would in some way help people in the UK. We received over 200 applications, across themes such as health and well being, ageing, the environment and financial inclusion and the 10 finalists included an e-reader for braille users, a 3D printer arm for toddlers, and a smart mouthguard which aims to reduce concussion within contact sports.
All Inventor Prize finalists received a £5,000 grant towards their prototype development, business planning and user testing and were provided non-financial support by Barclays Eagle Labs. Over the last 10 months, the finalists have been working hard at developing their product before pitching for the Prize in front of our panel of judges at the beginning of September.
Neurofenix has been awarded £50,000 to help bring the Neuroball to market. The Neuroball is connected to a tablet application that aims to make stroke rehabilitation affordable and fun by motivating stroke survivors to do exercises at home through games, where they can share their progress with loved ones via the platform.
Guillem and Dimitris were inspired to create the Neuroball after both had relatives who suffered from strokes and experienced the devastating impact that strokes can have on the life of a stroke survivor and their family. They were driven by passion to improve the lives of stroke survivors and soon founded Neurofenix. They developed the Neuroball with stroke survivors, their families and physiotherapists and will soon be launching it to market. You can read more about their experience of the Inventor Prize in their blog.
Finalists UroLogic Ltd were awarded the first Recognition Award, worth £15,000, for their new catheter design NuCath and Bristol Braille Technology CIC were awarded the £5,000 Recognition Award for Canute 360, an e-reader for braille users.