Winners Of The Cracking Ideas Competition Announced!

The winners of the Cracking Ideas Competition were announced at a special event at Bristol's M Shed Museum last week and got the opportunity to show off their fantasstic food-themed gadgets and inventions. Here's a picture of the competition finalists alongside Aardman's Creative Director Merlin Crossingham.

The theme of this year's competition was food, with participants challenged to come up with a new, ground-breaking gadget or taste and then think about how to design the product as well as marketing it, paying special attention to areas such as branding, logo design and copyright - all the things that make a product really stand out and protect a great idea from being stolen.

The finalists came up with some truly innovative ideas, impressing the judges with original creations that provide solutions to common food-related problems. As Merlin commented: "I thought we'd seen it all but yet again there are some ingenious inventions in the finalists. I'm really glad to see the creative juices are still flowing. Long may it continue!"

In the age 4-7 category, Poppy Westhope was chosen as overall winner for her 'Magic Spray', a device designed to encourage fussy eaters to try healthy foods - it cleverly disguises the taste of vegetables.

Isaac Fender of South Wales won the 8-11 category for his 'Waste No More Good Food Machine' - we'd love one of these nifty gadgets which lets you store the 'best before' dates of all the food you buy, reminding you what needs using up so nothing goes to waste.

Finally, in the 12-16 category, Emma Ann Eales won first place for her 'SciCook' machine, a super smart invention that makes you whatever food you want. It also provides some background on the science behind the food you're eating.

The three winners fought off stiff competition from over 4000 entrants across the UK and were presented with a specially designed trophy and a pack of animation software.

If you'd like to find out more about the Cracking Ideas initiative you can visit the website here - you can take a look at ideas submitted to the competition and learn more about innovation, creativity and intellectual property. You can download some activity packs, too, and play some fun Wallace & Gromit games.