SafetyNet wins 2012 James Dyson Award

SafetyNet, a device engineered in the UK to improve the sustainability of trawler fishing, has won the 2012 James Dyson Award.

The net, designed by Royal College of Art graduate Dan Watson, uses electronic rings to solve the problem of young, unmarketable fish being caught and thrown dead into the sea, by providing them with an illuminated escape route. The innovation consists of a series of rings retrofitted to a fishing net. These hold the meshes open when the net is under tension during trawling, with a light ring signalling a way out for the undersized fish. "This tangible technology approaches a serious environmental problem, and we should celebrate it," said Sir James Dyson. "SafetyNet shows how young graduates like Dan can tackle global issues ignored by established industries in new and inventive ways." Watson will receive £10,000 from the James Dyson Foundation for his SafetyNet system, with an additional £10,000 going to the Royal College of Art. The two runners up, each of which will take home £2,000, were the BETH Project from the USA, a low cost, self adjusting prosthetic limb aimed at the developing world, and the Revival Vest from New Zealand, which uses smart fabric technology to monitor the changes in a diver's body that occur when drowning and bring them safely to the surface. Watson plans to use the cash prize to develop a range of prototypes and finalise government testing of his design. The tehnology is demonstrated in the video below.