National competition launched to find inventors of the future

25 April 2013

An exciting competition has been launched to encourage children across the UK to submit their designs for a new product, gadget, gizmo or toy and win the opportunity to turn it into a real-life prototype.

The “We Made It!” competition aims to show 11 – 14 year olds the range of exciting opportunities that a career in engineering can offer and help them understand that manufacturing is about design and creativity as well as the hands-on making of products.

MPs up and down the country will work with businesses in their area to judge entries received in their constituencies, choosing a young person to represent them. The best entries nationwide will then be invited to one of seven UK “Fab Labs”, digital fabrication laboratories, where they will use the very latest high-tech methods to bring their ideas to life with the help of the Labs’ experts. The final products will then be officially launched at an exclusive awards reception at the Houses of Parliament in December.

It is the second year the competition has been held. Last year saw winners Adam Kassell and Joseph Kruczkowski beat over 360 other entries to create their winning designs at the UK’s first Fab Lab in Manchester.

Eddie Kirkby, Charity and Operations Support Manager at The Manufacturing Institute, which owns and runs Fab Lab Manchester, said:

“Last year’s competition was a huge success and saw hundreds of really inventive ideas submitted from right across the country. This year, the competition is set to be even bigger and better, with seven Fab Labs on board - from Northern Ireland right down to Cornwall.

“There is a real need to get young people excited about working in engineering and manufacturing and help them understand what the industry can offer them as a career. That’s why we’re so pleased to be involved in “We Made It!” for a second year running.”

To find out more about how to get involved with the competition just visit


Notes to editors

  1. The “We Made It!” competition is a partnership between The UK Manufacturing Dialogue, The Manufacturing Institute and partners including Boeing, Pfizer, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Cardiff University, The University of Southampton, Spirit AeroSystems, Raytheon, The ERA Foundation and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
  2. In partnership with The Manufacturing Institute and the Fab Lab network, “We Made It!” will be making prototypes in the following Fab Labs: Fab Lab Manchester, Makernow at Falmouth University, Maklab Glasgow, Fab Lab Ellesmere Port, Fab Lab Airedale (Yorkshire), Fab Lab Belfast and Fab Lab Derry.
  3. Fab Labs – digital fabrication laboratories – were set up to inspire people and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technology. To date, 3,000 small manufacturers, inventors, schools and community groups have used the first UK Fab Lab in Manchester run by the Manufacturing Institute.