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The winners of the BPA Concept & Innovation Awards were announced at Harrogate Nursery Fair yesterday after a nail biting wait for the four finalists who were invited to present their product ideas at the show.
Having already been shortlisted from almost 100 entries, Anne Marie Durkin, Chris Emmett, Roger Law and Julie Devenney were deservedly proud and excited to have reached the final stages to secure a coveted place on the BPA Concept & Innovation stand.
The two awards were presented by Rob Willis and Jacqui Parr of Progressive Preschool magazine which sponsors the Concept & Innovation Awards and both commented on the overall high standard of entries and congratulated all four finalists for their outstanding product ideas. The winner of the 2013 Innovation Award is Anne Marie Durkin of Shasta Ltd with the Steri-Ova – a high tech baby bottle steriliser which operates with UV light, sterilising in 90 seconds, is completely portable and requires no water. Inventor Anne Marie Durkin comments: “Winning the BPA Innovation Award 2013 for our revolutionary Portable Bottle Steriliser Steri-Ova is something we are incredibly proud and honoured to have achieved. As an Irish company to be recognised in the UK by the BPA is a fantastic endorsement to what we have accomplished after almost four years of research and development. We believe this is just the start of a very exciting journey. Our aspirations for Steri-Ova are high. We have an aggressive marketing plan in place for August when we will be in production and look forward to simplifying the chore of sterilising for parents and caregivers, allowing them more easily to adhere to the new guidelines.”
The winner of the Concept Award is Julie Devenney for her Urban Freewalker which is still in its conceptual stage. This is a pushchair which converts to a standing platform so the child can stand or walk safely within the confines of the pushchair frame. Julie comments: “I was delighted to win such a prestigious award and it’s an honour to be chosen against such stiff competition. Winning has given the Urban FreeWalker huge exposure I would not otherwise be able to access. Exhibiting on the BPA stand has been invaluable with overwhelming interest from retailers and distributors, not only from the UK, but France, South Africa and USA and my intention for the future is to attract sufficient investment to take my product to market.”
Robert Anslow, managing director of the BPA, comments: “The BPA actively encourages new product development and progression within the nursery industry and it is creative inventors such as Anne Marie and Julie who help to keep innovation fresh and exciting.”
Photo caption (right to left): Rob Willis, Anne Marie Durkin (Winner Innovation), Chris Emmett (Finalist), Julie Devenney (Winner Concept), Roger Law (Finalist) and Jacqui Parr.