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The James Dyson Award winner of the USA, Aerolyze.

“Young people want to change the world” – Introducing the Top 20 James Dyson Award entries

Following the announcement of the James Dyson Award National Winners, the Top 20 shortlist of inventions from around the world are revealed ahead of the

October 15 2020

“Young people want to change the world and we must support them to do that. The James Dyson Award challenges young engineers to solve the problems that they think are really important, hopefully giving them the confidence and resources to pursue them further. Every day brings new problems to the world and this year’s James Dyson Award Top 20 engineers’ shortlist demonstrates that young people hold many of the solutions; from innovative medical devices, to agricultural technology and sustainable advances. Whatever their progress in the Award from this point, I wish them all the best of luck, as these are really significant ideas that have great potential and deserve celebration.”

- James Dyson

Invention never stops

Back in March, the James Dyson Award opened for entries in its fifteenth year during a time of global crisis. All of the 27 countries and regions that take part in the competition were going into or experiencing lockdown due to Covid-19. Schools and universities around the world were shutting down and their campuses were closing, forcing many students to return home to complete their classes virtually.


With this challenging backdrop, the entries submitted to the 2020 Award by design and engineering students all around the world stand out as being more future-focused, empowering and inventive than ever before. There is always a need to solve problems and the number and breadth of this year’s entries to the James Dyson Award show that the future of invention is bright.


Students have proved that invention never stops. 2020 is a record-breaking year for the Award receiving the highest number of entries ever, with 1,800 projects submitted to take part in the competition. The numerous inventions are designed to solve global issues head-on with new and unique solutions. Whether that is the recyclable PPE glove from Sweden or the at-home breast cancer testing kit in Spain, these solutions have global resonance. Many of these ideas have been developed while adjusting to a new way of working. Collaborating with teammates virtually and making the most of at-home resources whilst laboratories were closed.

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See the Top 20 Inventors.

The global shortlist revealed

Last month Dyson announced the national winners and runners-up of the James Dyson Award 2020, across our 27 countries and regions. From a glucometer for pre-diabetics powered by breath in the US, to a knee rehabilitation device for personal treatment in Singapore. This is just the beginning.


Today marks the start of the international phase of the Award. As part of this process, a panel of Dyson engineers whittled down the best inventions to a global list of 20 that will progress to the international awarding stage. Sir James Dyson will review the Top 20 shortlist to crown his International Winner, Sustainability Winner and two international runners-up in November.  

  • ReGlove, one of the Top 20 of the James Dyson Award.
  • The James Dyson Award winner for the UK, the Tyre Collective.

“Today we are proud to release the Top 20 inventions submitted to the global James Dyson Award competition, chosen by a panel of Dyson engineers,” says Dyson’s Global Director of Sustainability and James Dyson Award Top 20 judge, Tom Crawford.


"I’ve had the privilege of being on the Top 20 judging panel over the past 2 years and have been inspired by the exciting future these young inventors are creating for us. This year’s panel of 12 judges were based across our research labs in the UK, Malaysia and Singapore and are part of design, engineering and manufacturing teams working on the future of Dyson technologies.


With the introduction of the new Sustainability Winner this year, it is fantastic that we can also recognise inventions that have been carefully designed to protect our planet’s future. This year we’ve seen a new way to care for local bees in Ireland, a better use of our Earth’s materials for ceramic production in India, and a new application to generate renewable energy in the Philippines. What we see from the Top 20 shortlist is that this is not just a list. It holds future ideas, improvements and processes to help improve life as we know it. This year has brought massive challenges and if one thing is certain, our Top 20 James Dyson Award inventors have shown that young minds and their unfiltered curiosity need a seat at the table.” Tom Crawford, Global Director of Sustainability at Dyson.


What does the future of invention look like? Read about our Top 20 inventors on the James Dyson Award website here.

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