This website uses cookies. By navigating around this site you consent to cookies being stored on your machine


Apprentices win ‘Breakthrough’ competition

BAE Systems Apprentice Team Leader, Sean Gallagher
Our Apprentices have won a nationwide competition to be crowned the ‘People’s Choice’ as part of the Make it in Great Britain Exhibition launched today by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The ‘BedFlex’ technology, designed to help recovering amputees and critical care patients take part in bed-based exercise to aid rehabilitation, won the ‘breakthrough’ category, as part of the Make it in Great Britain Challenge applicable to 16-21 year olds.  Using an innovative attachment, ‘BedFlex’ enables patients to secure resistance tubing to a stable object (such as the bed) without the risk of the elastic slipping or coming undone – a common problem with existing physiotherapy tools which use resistance tubing.

The nationwide competition was designed to identify innovative pre-market products, processes, and concepts and winning entries were selected by a panel of industry experts to form part of the Make it in Great Britain exhibition of great British manufacturing at the Science Museum.

BAE Systems Apprentice Team Leader, Sean Gallagher said: “It’s really exciting that our product is creating continued interest. It’s fantastic. Right from the start we set out with a different approach when we first started the challenge. We simply thought: what’s the solution; what’s needed; what can we produce? We kept it simple. The fact that we have been voted the People’s Choice as part of the Make it in Great Britain exhibition just adds more momentum to the story.”

He added: “We are all thrilled that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is now trialling the device. The early response from them was: ’How many can we have?’ I think what has really helped us is that we have used what is known as additive layer manufacturing, or 3D printing, to make the device. It meant that we could easily change the design and material qualities when we were developing the prototypes. It has also meant we have been able to supply devices to both the Science Museum and the Hospital with relative ease.

“It all just goes to show that, sometimes what appear to be the simplest solutions – are the best.”

BAE Systems is part of the Make it in Great Britain exhibition, celebrating the success of British manufacturing.  The exhibition runs from 24 July – 9th September and more information is available via

Ref No: 108/2012
Issued by:
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739