The inventor of a flooring system that generates electricity from footsteps is competing against innovation giants Apple and Dyson for an esteemed Product of the Year award.
Twenty five year old Loughborough University graduate Laurence Kemball-Cook developed his indoor and outdoor flooring product Pavegen while studying his Industrial Design and Technology degree. It allows people to save energy without even realising it, turning kinetic energy from footsteps into electricity to power street lighting, advertising and information displays and other applications that spring into life when people approach them.
The product has been nominated for Product of the Year at the 2011 Brit Insurance Design Awards, alongside the Apple iPad and Dyson Air Multiplier Fan.
“We are delighted to be taking on such big companies and high-profile products with a low-carbon innovation,” says Kemball-Cook. “If rolled out, this product could help local authorities, developers and communities reduce their energy bills but also get their staff and customers engaged in delivering a low-carbon future.”
The university supported the technology in its infancy through its Student Business Plan competition and recognised the company’s achievements with a Graduate Enterprise Award in 2010. Its commercial successes include winning a contract for the low-carbon energy system to be installed at the new Westfield shopping centre on the Olympic site in Stratford City. A Canterbury school has also installed the energy-producing floor tiles in one of its busiest corridors.