Team Portsmouth along with seven other teams had nine months to plan, design, create and test their end product, which they presented to a panel of judges and engineering experts on 12 January 2016. Their product 'Stag Grab' was designed to a brief set by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham charity and had to prove itself useful by helping patients with every-day tasks, such as picking-up objects with ease.
Team Portsmouth designed their winning prototype to a strict budget and conducted research by visiting a nearby Hospital, speaking with physiotherapists and allowing patients to test out 'Stag Grab' to ensure it met their needs and requirements. One of the most impressive features of Team Portsmouth's design was the 'trigger' of the device, which could be operated using any finger. It demonstrated the teams' awareness of the brief by ensuring their product accommodated for all different levels of ability and strength.
Speaking at the judging day held at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, Captain Cameron Johnston, Military Physiotherapist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said:
“It has been an amazing experience to be part of this challenge over the last nine months. Each of the teams were given the same brief and it's been fascinating to see how each of them have used their various skills and experience to develop unique approaches to the problem. The purpose behind the challenge was to create solutions that encourage patient independence after injury and each of the projects on show today perfectly embodied that ethos.”
Andy Wright, BAE Systems’ Director of Technology and member of the judging panel said:
“The products offered not only the potential to make a positive change to injured military personnel, but could also open up possibilities for a wider market of users who suffer from limited movement or dexterity. I congratulate everyone involved in this Challenge for their hard work and commitment.”
The Apprentice Innovation Challenge winners, Team Portsmouth were announced at this years' BAE Systems Apprentice of the Year Awards on 21 January 2016.
Commenting at the awards ceremony, Member of Team Portsmouth, Lewis Hall said:
“As a team we’re amazed because there was such strong, clever and well-thought out competition. We’re truly humbled and utterly shocked that the judges decided we were the winning team. We knew we'd done well, but not that well. I was involved four years ago in a previous apprentice role and I learnt a lot from that experience. I know what it’s like to be on the other side, to have put so much hard-work in and feel disappointed when you don’t win.”