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Cricket set bats off innovative design contest

A team of students from Banbury and Bicester College have been named the winners of a competition designed to test innovation in sustainable product design.

The college went head to head with Bicester Community College and Cooper School in Bicester for the Circular Product Competition, which was held as part of the Disruptive Innovation Festival.

A team of students from each school were tasked with redesigning a tool to create a children’s toy. The team from Banbury and Bicester College created a clamp-like vice for their tool and submitted proposals on how this could be transformed into a children’s cricket set.

To see the design process in action, watch the video – for best results view in Google Chrome.

Cllr Tony Ilott, lead member for Cherwell District Council which helped to organise the event, said: “This competition was all about getting the students to think about a circular economy where unwanted or broken items can be recycled into something new rather than simply being thrown into the bin. The concept of creating a circular product - a new item which is made from something old -was quite challenging but all of these students succeeded brilliantly in generating some fantastic ideas. I would like to thank all involved for their hard work and praise them for their innovative thinking; I hope they now go away from this project thinking more about the ways in which items can be recycled in the future to create a more sustainable economy for everyone.”

Cooper School scooped second place with their design of a footstool which could then be transformed into a cat toy while Bicester Community College were named runners up for their tool rack that could be converted into a sling shoot.

The Banbury and Bicester College team were presented with £100 to buy school equipment and given half a day free to spend in the Bicester Green workshop to create something that could benefit the school or be sold as a fundraiser.

The event was organised by Cherwell District Council in partnership with sustainability organisation Bicester Green and Bicester Vision, with sponsorship from the Bicester to Oxford Collaboration, who are delivering the first phase of the East West Rail project that will ultimately deliver a rail passenger service from Oxford to Cambridge.

The competition will be listed as an event at the new Disruptive Innovation Festival, which encourages organisations, business and entrepreneurs across the UK to host events highlighting the changing economy. The festival has been funded by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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