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James Dyson Award global winners.

2022 James Dyson Award Global Winners Announced



SmartHEAL, A smart sensor for dressings which indicates how well a wound is healing by measuring its pH level, invented by students from Warsaw University of Technology, Poland.



Polyformer, A machine that recycles plastic bottles into affordable 3D printer filament for developing nations, invented by students from McMaster University, Canada.



Ivvy, A wearable replacement for the existing intravenous drip pole apparatus, improving comfort and mobility for patients, invented by Charlotte Blancke from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

The James Dyson Award has given more than $1m in prize money to over 300 promising inventions from young engineers and scientists around the world. This year, Sir James Dyson has selected two global winners, each receiving $30,000, and one runner-up, receiving $5,000 in prize money, to support the next stages of their inventions.

  • James Dyson Award Global winner video.





    “Every year, the James Dyson Award offers proof that young people are passionate about improving the planet and solving environmental and medical problems. There are people who grandstand over the issues they care about, but these young inventors are doing something more productive. They are diligently applying themselves to problem-solving using engineering, science and ingenious design.”

     - Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson.



The winning inventions



International winner - SmartHEAL

Invented by Tomasz Raczyński, Dominik Baraniecki and Piotr Walter

Warsaw University of Technology, Poland

  • The problem

    When covered by a dressing, it is very hard to know how well a wound is healing. The most common mistake in wound healing is changing the dressing too often, which can lead to infections and tissue disruption.

    Current methods of assessing a wound rely on subjective scoring of colour, smell, temperature – or expensive laboratory biochemical tests. Poor wound healing not only leads to tissue inflammation, but also necrosis (death of body tissue that is irreversible), and can lead to severe illness or death.

    In the United States, 3% of people older than 65 years have open wounds. The US government estimates that by the year 2060, the elderly population will be over 77 million. Chronic wounds are likely to be a persistent problem in this population.

  • SmartHEAL, James Dyson Award winner.
  • The solution

    SmartHEAL is a precise, affordable and scalable smart pH sensor for dressings. By using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) communication systems and monitoring the pH of a wound, SmartHEAL can assess the wound’s condition and detect infection without removing the dressing, and therefore without disrupting the tissue. Medical professionals can subsequently analyse the data and prescribe the appropriate treatment for the wound. Smart bandages create and preserve a balanced wound environment.



  • SmartHEAL, James Dyson Award winner.
  • Next steps

    The team will finish testing and then start clinical trials. Their aim is to then finish the certification process in three years’ time so they can start to distribute and sell SmartHEAL dressings in 2025.




  • “We are super excited to be the International Winners of the James Dyson Award this year! This is and will be a great opportunity for us to become a part of something bigger, something that hopefully can change the world. We strive to refine our prototype, obtain a patent and pass the necessary clinical trials to commercialise SmartHEAL. We were honoured to be greeted by Sir James Dyson himself. His words: “Congratulations! You are the International winners of the James Dyson Award “still ring in our ears – we’re still in disbelief, joy and happiness!”


    - SmartHEAL team.

  • “We’ve all nervously peeled back a dressing or plaster to see what is happening underneath. SmartHEAL, a smart dressing, has won the International James Dyson Award because it provides doctors and patients with a key piece of data – the pH level – that can tell them how a wound is healing. This can improve treatment and prevent infection, saving lives. I hope the Award will give the team impetus to proceed down the tricky path towards commercialisation.”


    - Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson.

Sustainability winner - Polyformer

Invented by Swaleh Owais and Reiten Cheng

McMaster University, Canada

  • The problem

    While working at a makerspace in Rwanda, Swaleh and Reiten learned that many locals could not use the makerspace's 3D printers, due to the high price of importing filament to the country. They also observed the lack of infrastructure to recycle plastic bottles in Rwanda.

  • Polyformer, James Dyson Award winner.
  • The solution

    Polyformer is a low-cost machine that turns plastic bottles into 3D printer filament. Polyformer cuts plastic bottles into long strips that are fed into an extruder. The strip is then thermoformed into 1.75mm filament, as it goes through a nozzle. The filament is passed through vents to cool the plastic before it is wrapped around a spool, ready to be inserted into a 3D printer.

    The invention is targeted at developing nations due to the high price of importing 3D printer filament. With Polyformer, makers have easier access to cheap, high-quality 3D printer filament. This encourages usage of design infrastructure and career consideration in developing nations, while empowering makers to recycle their own waste and use the output productively.



  • Polyformer, James Dyson Award winner.
  • Next steps

    Currently, Swaleh and Reiten are building new Polyformers to deploy at their partner makerspaces in Rwanda and they are designing new inventions within the Polyformer project, such as the Polyjoiner, Polydryer, Polyspooler, and many more.


    A standard 500ml plastic bottle can only produce 3m of filament, which is not long enough for most print jobs. Therefore, Swaleh and Reiten have developed Polyjoiner, a mechanism that can automatically join multiple strands of printer filament together into a long singular piece. Here is a brief demo:



PET is hygroscopic, which means a plastic water bottle is likely to absorb some of the water it's filled with. The presence of water in filament negatively impacts print quality. Therefore, Swaleh and Reiten are developing Polydryer, a low-cost machine that evaporates moisture from 3D printer filament.

Long strands of 3D printer filament must be wrapped around a spool. This ensures the filament does not get tangled while the printer is running. The Polyformer team are developing Polyspooler, a simple machine that automatically spools our recycled filament, thereby making the filament more practical to use.


The entire Polyformer project is 100% open-source with all CAD, code, and building instructions available on their discord: Open-source software can be beneficial for growth in developing countries due to a lower development cost, more security and better quality. It supports collaboration, employment opportunities and skills development, encouraging community development and collective equity.




  • “It is a great honor to be the James Dyson Award 2022 Sustainability winner. We are using the prize money to deploy several Polyformers and Polyformer-Lites at our partner makerspaces in Rwanda. With these machines, local students, designers, and makers in Rwanda will have access to low-cost 3D printer filament. This means they can use their community's 3D printers more frequently! If you would like to build your own Polyformer, please check out our Discord:”


    - Swaleh Owais and Reiten Cheng.

  • “By turning used plastic bottles into 3D printer filament, Polyformer helps reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and provides a cheap and plentiful material for engineers and designers, especially in developing countries. Their idea will provide new opportunities for other inventors to prototype their ideas using 3D printing.”


    - Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson.

International Runner-up - Ivvy

Invented by Charlotte Blancke

University of Antwerp, Belgium

  • The problem

    Charlotte became aware that a colleague of her mother was unhappy about the uncomfortable apparatus her child was required to use for her medical treatment. The colleague mentioned that she in fact switched an intravenous pole for a coat hanger to improve her daughter’s comfort.

    During Charlotte’s research, she found that at-home medical treatment is rising, but the equipment used for at-home intravenous therapies is the same as that in hospitals, despite the characteristics of a home setting being different. As more patients move to home healthcare services for recuperation or long-term care, complex medical devices are now used more frequently in the home, often under unsuitable conditions.

  • Ivvy, James Dyson Award winner.
  • The solution

    Infusion therapy is when fluids or medication are administered through a cannula or needle at a controlled pace. Ivvy replaces the current intravenous drip pole with a wearable device that provides patients with optimal mobility, an easy-to-use infusion pump, and on-board software so nurses can monitor their patients remotely.

    Currently, there is a lack of feedback about intravenous treatments and existing infusion pumps have a complex interface. Charlotte has developed an infusion pump with a simplified interface and intuitive use. Nurses can easily set up the treatment at-home and patients can follow their therapy through a LED strip, display, and sound notifications.

  • Next steps

    Charlotte is working with professionals in the industry to support her with further developing Ivvy.

  • Ivvy, James Dyson Award winner.





    “Being treated with an old-fashioned IV drip on a tall stand can make home seem like a hospital. Ivvy is a simple concept that could improve people’s treatment and enhance their quality of life. It shows the brilliance of simple design and I wish Charlotte every success in developing her idea towards commercialisation.”


    - Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson



The James Dyson Award forms part of a wider commitment by Sir James Dyson, to demonstrate the power of engineers to change the world. The competition has supported over 300 inventions with prize money, and is run by the James Dyson Foundation, an engineering-education charity funded by Dyson profits.

The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology and the Foundation’s work encourage aspiring engineers and problem solvers, to apply their knowledge and discover new ways to improve lives through technology. To date, James and the James Dyson Foundation have contributed over $140m to boundary breaking concepts in education and other charitable causes.

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