Finalists announced for 2023 DIP competition

April 28th, 2023

April 27, 2023

Press release


Finalists announced for 2023 DIP competition

Judges cite “innovative solutions” for challenging brief

Design students entering this year’s Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition have addressed the brief with “out of the box thinking and innovative solutions”, according to head judge, Richard Brown, following the announcement of the finalists.

Mr Brown said they had worked hard to tackle the brief which asked them to design a product for the kitchen or the bathroom, made primarily from plastics and which was an original product or a significant improvement on an existing product.  It could meet the needs of the young or the elderly or those with disabilities – an area where there are already many products on the market.

“This made it a challenging task and the finalists have done well to raise the awareness of the judges in some of the areas they have addressed,” he said. “Our finalists have all been provided with feedback and guidance to help them refine their products before they present them at the final judging stage in London on May 26.”

As well as five finalists, another student has been chosen to receive a new award.  This year it was decided to introduce an additional category for an entry which did not quite make the final cut, but which still recognises the talent which has gone into creating an innovative product or design.  The category has been named ‘The Robin Jones Award’ in memory of a former DIP committee member who sadly passed away last year.

All the finalists, along with the recipient of the Robin Jones Award, have been invited to attend a training course provided by a new DIP industry sponsor, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, which will give them the opportunity to take on board new ideas as they finesse their products.

The six students are:

Frederick Blake – Bournemouth University – ‘Bubble Buddy’

Kyle Farquhar – Edinburgh Napier University – “PlateMate’

James Forrest-Smith – Northumbria University – ‘Kitchen Helper’

Christopher Kenny – TU Dublin – ‘Flossie’

Scott Rutherford – Edinburgh Napier University –  ‘Rotary Bottle Opener’

Teresa Zheng – Loughborough University – ‘Pocket Operation Panel’

Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) is the longest running plastics competition of its kind in Europe, having been established in 1985. It is supported by the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining, the Worshipful Company of Horners, and sponsored by leading design and plastics organisations, including headline industry sponsor, Covestro.


Notes to editors

  1. Established in 1985, Design Innovation in Plastics is the longest running student plastics design award in Europe. For more information visit
  2. The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) is a major UK engineering institution and is the professional body for the advancement of materials, minerals and mining to governments, industry, academia, the public and the professions. For more information visit
  3. The Worshipful Company of Horners is one of the oldest livery companies in the City of London and was formed to regulate the horn-working trade. In 1943 it adopted its modern equivalent, the plastics industry. For more information visit

Headline industry sponsor – Covestro

About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 15.9 billion in fiscal 2021. At the end of 2021, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Other competition sponsors:

  • Brightworks: an award-winning UK product design and development consultancy dedicated to helping other companies develop the best products for their customers, their markets and their brands
  • Innovate Product Design: specialises in helping individuals to protect, develop and commercialise their new product ideas and inventions
  • PDD: provides integrated design and innovation skills, working with organisations worldwide to develop novel products, services and business processes that drive revenues and create competitive advantage
  • Sumitomo (SHI) Demag – a world leading manufacturer of injection moulding  machines
  • Media partners: British Plastics and Rubber, Materials World, Mould Technology

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