Join the search for the UK's favourite engineering innovation
Everyday Engineering is a 4-week national competition to find the UK’s kitchen table engineers – people with ideas and innovations that could make or are making our daily lives more sustainable.
Entries will be voted on by the public as well as reviewed by our judging panel.
Voting will take place on: 1 November 2023, National Engineering Day
What will you win?
The winner will receive the opportunity for feedback on development of their innovation as well as an opportunity to build entrepreneurial skills.
The prize package includes:
- Feedback on your idea from a BBC Dragons' Den investor at a virtual lunch session
- Mentoring on how to turn your idea into a product with an expert from our Enterprise Hub
- National publicity and a trophy from the Royal Academy of Engineering
How to enter
- Entries can be submitted by individuals or teams, of any age.
- Entries must be made by via our entry form or posted to social media, tagging 'This is Engineering' social media channels in order to be considered.
- Entries can be an idea or a prototype. However, if the entrant is intending to develop the prototype or idea commercially, all reasonable efforts must have been made to protect the intellectual property of the creation.
- Entries should have a viable sustainable innovation that would make daily lives function in a less wasteful way; reducing energy, finances or resources. Entries should not negatively impact people or planet.
- Entries do not need to be created in a sustainable way, entries will be judged according to their ability as an invention or idea that works towards sustainability, not something that can be produced from sustainable materials.
- Entries should be original.
- Applicants do not need to have an engineering qualification or background to enter, it’s the innovation that we are interested in.
- Must be wiling to discuss applicant’s idea/innovation publicly in media and on social media.
Terms and conditions
1. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
2. The competition is run by the Royal Academy of Engineering (the Promoter) whose registered office is Prince Philip House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG.
Eligibility to enter
3. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) of any age. The competition is not open to employees of the Royal Academy of Engineering and their close relatives, or anyone directly connected with the organisation or the judging of the competition including Deborah Meaden, Kate Jones and Dominic Wilcox.
4. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via www.raeng.org.uk/NED-competition
How to enter
6. Entry is valid from 00:01hrs GMT 02 October until 23:59hrs GMT 29 October only. Entries submitted before and after this date will not be permitted.
7. Entries must be submitted with a photograph or video of the idea or innovation to the entry form on raeng.org.uk/ned-competition
8. Enter the competition by sending your sustainable innovation including what it is, why it is a sustainable positive impact on the world, any photos/drawings/videos you would like to share to bring it to life.
9. Only those entries posted on TikTok/Twitter and/or Instagram channels, that have tagged the promoter appropriately @ThisisEng on Twitter or @ThisisEngineering on TikTok or on Instagram and used the competition hashtags #NationalEngineeringDay and #EverydayEngineering will be considered as competition entries.
10. An initial shortlist of 20 entries that demonstrate a sustainable solution to a problem will be made, from which 3 finalists and 1 winner will be selected based on the judges’ opinion.
11. The entries will be judges on; the idea/innovations ability to solve an everyday challenge and make everyday more sustainable, feasibility of creating a prototype of the idea/innovation, and commercial viability of the idea/innovation.
12. Multiple entries from the same person are accepted but only one prize pack will be awarded to the entrant should more than one of their entries be selected.
13. Any entries that the Promoter consider (at our absolute discretion) to be dangerous, vulgar, offensive, indecent, illegal, copied, cruel or fraudulent, or infringe on the rights or copyright of others, will be immediately disqualified.
14. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for any reason.
15. By entering the competition, entrants who make it to the final three agree to allowing the Promoter and Deborah Meaden to feature them and their sustainable innovations on social media, websites, and on national media (broadcast, online and print). The Promoter will be in touch with entrants to seek their permission is they are successful.
16. Entrants give permission to the Promoter to contact them via the email address provided as part of the submission.
17. All entries will be treated confidentially by the Promoter and judging panel.
18. Entrants understand that any entries (that haven’t been properly protected) shared publicly on social media will be publicly available and consequently the ability to obtain protection (such as patent protection) for their idea(s) may be irrevocably lost and their innovation may be copied. If in doubt, speak to a professional IP advisor before submitting your entry. A list of professional patent attorneys can be found at: https://www.cipa.org.uk/find-a-patent-attorney/
19. There is one prize pack available, consisting of:
• 1 virtual meet & greet with Deborah Meaden, lasting approximately 30 minutes
• 1 mentoring session with a Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub
• National publicity
• 1 trophy from the Royal Academy of Engineering
20. The prize is as stated, and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability, and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
Winner selection and announcement
21. Three finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges appointed by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
22. The finalists will be notified by telephone or Direct Message (DM) on Twitter/Instagram/TikTok before 1 November. If the winner cannot be contacted, we reserve the right to pick a replacement.
23. The finalists ideas/innovation will be shared on social media and take part in a public vote on 1 November to decide the winner, and be shared in national media. Entrants give permission for the Promoter to use their entry in this way.
24. The winner will be chosen by a public vote on National Engineering Day across X (Twitter), Instagram and Facebook. The public vote will close at 1800hrs GMT 1 November.
25. The winner and the winning sustainable innovation will be announced by the Promoter on the following channels: @ThisIsEng, @thisisengineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering homepage, broadcast and print media. Deborah Meaden also has the rights to announce the winner on her social media channels and during broadcast appearance.
26. The winner and the winning sustainable innovation will be announced on National Engineering Day and the days that follow.
27. If the winner will endure any costs as part of winning the prize package, the Promoter will not cover any of these expenses.
Receipt of the prize
28. Please allow 14 days for delivery of the prize, or alternative collection or delivery arrangements may be made through mutual agreement.
29. Prizes will be sent by Royal Mail, recorded delivery. The promoter does not accept liability for any packages that have been delayed or misplaced by Royal Mail.
30. It is the responsibility of the entrant to provide correct, up-to-date details when entering the prize promotion and acceptance of the prize. The Promoter cannot be held responsible for winners failing to supply accurate information which affects prize acceptance or delivery of their prize.
31. The prize will only be delivered to UK addresses.
Data protection and publicity
32. The winner agrees to the use of his/her/their name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
33. The finalists names will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the following address: email@example.com
Limitation of liability
34. The Promoter does not accept any liability for any damage, loss, injury, or disappointment suffered by any entrants as a result of either participating in the competition or being selected for a prize, save that the Promoter does not exclude its liability for death or personal injury as a result of its own negligence.
35. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
36. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
37. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter or any other Social Network, or any other competition.
38. The Promoter shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions, such change shall be effective immediately upon posting to this webpage.
Tips for protecting your innovation
This article is written by Mathys & Squire, European Intellectual Property Law Firm.
As a business with an innovative idea, it is tempting to want to share your new idea as soon as possible, for example in order to gauge market interest or gain exposure.
How to protect your IP (intellectual property)
A common mistake when it comes to protecting a business’s intellectual property (IP) is disclosure. Any incidents of public disclosure can be detrimental to your ability to obtain patent protection in the future, as whatever you disclose – in the UK at least – can be used against your own patent application. This can include anything from social media posts and websites, public presentations or pitches, discussions, and public competitions.
This means that publicly sharing ideas, prototypes and products that have not yet been protected, for example by means of a patent application, leaves your innovation exposed to being copied and reproduced by someone else for financial gain.
How to enter competitions without risk: Share your images and information without disclosing your idea
Despite this, you should not necessarily be deterred from entering competitions, such as the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Everyday Engineering competition to celebrate National Engineering Day.
For some technologies, it may be possible to share images and explain what your innovation is, without revealing how the underlying technology works.
For example, where the innovation relates to an innovative new material, such as a biodegradable ice-cooler box or edible tableware, it may be possible to share images of the product or concept without disclosing what the material is made from, or how it is processed. This information relating to the material, manufacture, and/or processing should be kept confidential, and could subsequently be protected by a patent application later.
If the invention relates to an innovative physical product itself, such as a new device for washing clothes using less water, you may be unable to share images and explain what your product does without disclosing the product in enough detail for it to be understood how it works or be reproduced.
When to get legal advice
As a general rule, if it seems plausible that someone could reproduce or reverse engineer your product based on your planned disclosure, it is advisable to seek advice from a patent attorney regarding IP protection before sharing.
Mathys & Squire are proud sponsors of the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub and have extensive experience helping start ups and innovative businesses protect their IP. If you are in doubt as to what you should or should not disclose, please get in touch with a member of our team.
Talking to a patent attorney can help you to identify what might be protectable, which in turn can help inform your decision as to what you may or may not be happy sharing. This can help you determine what to disclose about your idea, without giving away your potentially patentable ‘secret sauce’ that you may be looking to protect in future.
Why is the Everyday Engineering competition launching on National Engineering Day?
Engineering expertise is central to achieving the UK’s Net Zero goals and creating a more sustainable future for both people and planet.
The perception of engineering needs to change if the UK is to have enough engineers to bring about a sustainable future.