Intellectual property expert to judge design competition

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CEO of Murgitroyd assesses designs that help improve independent living

AN intellectual property expert has been appointed to join the judge’s assessing inventions that could help transform the daily lives of people living with mobility issues at the upcoming Blackwood Design Awards.

Blackwood Housing and Care has invited Gordon Stark to help judge this year’s Design Awards – a Dragon’s Den-style challenge encouraging the submission of new designs, technologies and adaptations that boost independent living and enable people with mobility issues and older people to live life to the full.

Gordon is Chief Executive Officer at Murgitroyd, one of Europe’s largest and most successful intellectual property firms, working with a wide range of local, national and international companies to develop their intellectual property estate to derive maximum return from their IP investment.

As well as judging the entries, Gordon will share his industry expertise and guidance with all shortlisted candidates in a webinar and the winner will receive personalised IP advice from Gordon’s attorney colleagues.

Gordon said: “The design awards create an exciting platform that encourages conversations and idea-sharing to help improve independent living models. I’m thrilled to be involved in this year’s judging panel – especially as it returns after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

“Throughout my career sharing my IP knowledge and guidance has always been a real passion. My experience of working with companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multi-nationals, will be beneficial when judging the entries and deciding an overall winner.

“The competition is a great opportunity for an individual or a group to potentially get their first big break – and it makes me really proud to know that I will be able to help, even in a small way. I’m wishing a massive good luck to everyone involved in the competition this year”.

The Scottish-based challenge has previously delivered a host of life aids for people who are ageing or have mobility issues, including an app that helps make living spaces safer for people with dementia and a “spill proof” spoon for those affected by conditions that cause them to shake.

The competition is open for inventions, designs and concepts from all around the world, with the deadline for submissions being November 11th 2022.

Marie McQuade, 50th Anniversary Support Lead at Blackwood, said: “Entries can range from being intricate, high-tech products to basic designs and ideas that simply haven’t been considered before.

“Gordon’s expertise will help us choose a worthy winner and we’re extremely grateful to have him on board to give our participants guidance, while sharing his experience and knowledge.

“In Blackwood’s 50th year, it is more important than ever to celebrate and showcase the amazing inventions that have the potential to accelerate the industry and provide significant benefits to peoples’ lives and we’re delighted to have a fantastic panel of experts to assist in judging.”

This year’s competition will be judged across three distinct categories: Best Collaborative Project, Best New Concept and Best New Aids, Equipment or Accessible Technology.

The competition can be entered by groups or individuals and is open to both seasoned professionals and gifted amateurs – meaning that both technologically advanced and simpler designs are equally welcome.

Blackwood has earned a reputation as an industry leader which uses cutting-edge technology to help its customers to live independently. Its Blackwood House design guide is the gold standard for accessible housing to support independent living in Scotland.

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