GCU researcher shortlisted for Forerunner Prize

15 September 2016

GCU researcher shortlisted for Forerunner Prize

An innovative social enterprise idea from a Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) researcher has been selected for the final of the Forerunner Prize, a competition to find new tech-led business ideas with a good cause.

Professor Jim Woodburn, Professor of Rehabilitation in the School of Health and Life Sciences, has been shortlisted for his project submission on an open-access 3D printing hub for personalised insole devices, primarily aimed at people with disabling foot pain.

Disabling foot and ankle conditions affect approximately 200 million European citizens. Over £230m per annum is spent treating many of these people with orthoses and splints, often relying on hand-crafted manufacturing techniques which are slow, costly and difficult to reproduce. With an increasingly ageing population and a growing health burden in long-term conditions, the global market for custom foot orthoses continues to grow.

Professor Woodburn has led research into tailored design and manufacture of innovative foot orthotics using 3D-printing technologies.

The Forerunner Prize 2016, created by social enterprise Iridescent Ideas CIC, aims to help the development of ideas that tackle social or environmental issues using bio, health and medical technology; environmental technology; space industries; advanced engineering; or nanotechnology. 

The Forerunner Prize winner will receive £1,000 cash, plus mentoring and business support, to help develop their idea. The prize is supported by the University of St Mark and St John Plymouth, PKF Francis Clark, Tribe Media‚Äč and the Social Enterprise Mark. 

Gareth Hart, Director of Iridescent Ideas, said: “We had some amazing applications. It’s fabulous that future tech entrepreneurs are thinking about social enterprise as the way forward. The top six applications are really exciting ideas and we look forward to naming the winner soon.”

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