The James Dyson Award is a brilliant step forward for innovation and design, and we at Giz UK could not be more proud of the sheer quality brought forward in the UK entries. SafetyNet, the winner of the UK leg, was designed by Dan Watson, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art, and is a fantastic design that also factors in the environment and sustainability of trawler fishing.
Simply put, the device a series of escape rings that can be retrofitted to a fishing net, allowing smaller and unmarketable fish to escape and live on. These rings prevent holes from closing during trawling when the net is under tension, and they also feature lights that act as an emergency exit sign for the little fish to escape. The rings transform normal trawler nets into a more sustainable fishing tool and enable the fishing to not impact the ecosystem.
The design also offers two different variants, one which is battery-powered, and the other is kinetically-charged. The latter option means that batteries will never have to be changed, allowing the ring to be left on the net at all times, and is powered by the flow of water that rushes through the internal turbines to continuously charge the ring.
Watson started the design while studying product design engineering at the Glasgow School of Art, and will be awarded £1,000 for his design. SafetyNet will go onwards to the international stage of the competition and will be pitted against winners from 18 other countries.
Runners-up in the UK leg featured a ‘free light’ which relies on human power to generate light, a robotic wheelchair for children that features sensors to avoid collisions and a 360 degree light-up helmet, among others.