Students from the University of Sussex and London Metropolitan University have been invited to pitch their toy design ideas to industry experts at the Inventors Workshop.
Five students from each university will travel to Whittlebury Hall in Northampton on September 22nd to take part in a one-day toy hackfest where they will compete against each other to create a brand new toy concept.
After attending the Inventors Track of the conference, the students will be given a specific briefs from different toy firms at the start of the day and will then pitch their ideas to the execs at the end of the Workshop.
The winning team will be presented with the inaugural Inventors Workshop New Designers Award.
“Not only does this opportunity give our students an in-depth insight into understanding what it would be like to work in the toy industry but being able to pitch their own ideas to professional toy designers will also give them a unique experience and some valuable and constructive feedback," said University of Sussex senior lecturer, Diane Simpson-Little.
“For some students this may also be the first time they have attended a conference so this will allow them the chance to network with industry, developing their professional, social and communication skills essential for designers today.
"The morning of seminars will educate them in the critical issues necessary to be successful in this area of design. And the competitive element of working on a live brief within a limited timescale will also challenge their design skills and ability to work in a team under pressure.”
Billy Langsworthy, Inventors Workshop conference director, added: “In our survey of 2,000 toy and game inventors, 69 per cent said there are not enough product design courses in the UK. Half of those said, had there been more availability, they would have applied for a place. This is terrible news, because it means we’re failing our inventors at the first hurdle.
“Innovation is the lifeblood of the toy industry. That’s why it’s so important for industry, the government and academia to support our new designers; to make it possible for them to study in the first place and to ease their path into employment and future success.”