This year's challenge supports The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham; host to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, which treats all seriously injured British military personnel evacuated from overseas and provides secondary and specialist after care for members of the Armed Forces.

Details of the 2015 Challenge were launched on 24 February at the Royal Academy of Engineering. Each UK business can put forward one or more apprentice teams who must choose from one of the following two challenges, both of which focus on aiding the recovery of military personnel:

  • The Grabber – design a solution to help wheelchair or bed-ridden users achieve more independence in day-to-day activities, like picking up small items or pulling up socks
  • The wheelchair load-carrying system – design a solution to enable wheelchair users to carry personal objects and medical items about with them in a safe and practical way

The Challenge is sponsored by Group Managing Director - Programmes & Support, Nigel Whitehead:

"This is a fantastic opportunity for our apprentices to develop their skills while making a real difference to our partner charities. I have seen first-hand the commitment and creativity teams have applied to the challenges in previous years and I know that this year's competitors will gain a great deal from their involvement, both professionally and personally."

Alex Griffiths, a Test Engineer on Typhoon MUT in MAI, excelled as the leader of the winning team in the 2013 Apprentice Innovation Challenge, and subsequently scooped the Engineering Technician award in the 2014 BAE Systems Apprentice Awards.

"The Innovation Challenge has felt like an integral part of my apprenticeship. By putting to the test everything you have been taught so far, and challenging you to teach yourself new things to meet real-world demands, it demonstrates not only the standard of your training but the standard of yourself – all while benefitting an incredibly worthy cause!"

Good luck to all the teams who will spend the next eight months designing and building their innovative solutions, ready for judging next January. The winning team will be revealed at the 2015 Apprentice Awards in January 2016.