With a prize package totaling about $100,000, a design contest sponsored by electronic components distributor Premier Farnell (London, England) hopes to encourage and challenge designers around the world to make a difference for the environment. Announced during this year’s EDS show at Las Vegas, the competition, dubbed Live Edge (Electronic Design for the Global Environment) is open to anyone over 18 who is not a Premier employee.
Just what is Premier looking for? A design that will ”help to reduce or minimize environmental damage,” said Premier’s CEO Harriet Green in a Web-based video. The design can be a completely self-contained system, or a component that makes up a larger product that, for example, works to increase environmental efficiency or reduce carbon emissions.
The winner receives a $50,000 cash prize, with the rest of the compensation in the form of a full support package that will include design consultancy to move the design to the prototype stage; introductions to partner agencies; marketing and publicity; and legal support. Up to five entrants will be eligible for honorable mention status and will recieve $5,000 each. Uniquely, the designers will retain intellectual property and ownership of all designs.
“Electronics plays an integral part in all of our lives. It affects the environment in many ways: some good and some bad,” Green said. ”Therefore, as a global leader in the electronics industry, Premier Farnell is strongly committed to environmental protection and positive progress.”
Known under the Newark brand in the Americas, Premier Farnell has been one of the industry leaders when it comes to environmental causes and concerns–their RoHS ads and Tin Whiskers game are already legendary. But this effort also comes as a direct result of the company listening to its customers–design engineers–who say they want to use their skills to help our environment. “We work very closely with the electronic design engineering community and know, from their constant feedback, that influencing positive change for the environment and designing in a responsible way is a major concern and consideration for them,” Green said.
Judging and selection will be done at a global level by a panel comprising technical experts, industry leaders, and academics from the UK, mainland Europe, the United States, and Asia chaired by Sir Peter Gershon CBE FREng, Premier Farnell’s non-executive chairman.
All entries are to be submitted via the Live Edge web site. Anyone interested must register by Oct. 31, 2007, and all entries must be submitted by Nov. 30, 2007. The winner will be announced in January 2008.