OCA Innovation Award

OCA Innovation Award

The Old Caterhamian Association Innovation and Collaboration Award asks our pupils to work on a project in teams of at least two, which they think solves a problem. During a live final, judges see presentations from some of the most promising groups and then announce a winner, who receives a £1000 prize and the offer of support and mentoring.

Now in its third year, our judging panel remains unchanged, highlighting just how important and exciting this event is to those involved. The panel is made up of OCA President and award architect Clive Furness, alongside Headmaster Ceri Jones, Vice-President of the OCA, Karin Schulte and Caterham parent, Preya Jubraj. The combined business experience of these judges is a force to be reckoned with, but our finalists, who this year came from three different year groups – First Year, Second Year and Third Year represented very different ideas and solutions to problems they had identified and seemed entirely undaunted.

2021 Entries:

Crypto Regulation

Robert and Adrian in the Third Year had developed a system which they believed could regulate the volatility of cryptocurrency and in so doing make crypto a safer more appealing proposition for a wider market. The judges were hugely impressed with the research and thought which went into this entry and whilst they were our oldest entrants this year, it was astonishing, listening to 14 year old pupils discussing the merits of the government legislation around cryptocurrency!

Eco-Starter Pack

Lucy and Romilly in the Second Year brought the judges an Eco-Box starter pack. Their idea was a collection of items, ranging from a toothbrush to toilet roll and a shampoo bar, all of which are environmentally friendly which would start the buyer down the route of being more conscious of their environmental impact. Subsequent boxes would be made up of customisable products for their next steps, whether this was replenishing supplies, or widening their use of eco-positive products. The judges really loved the ethos behind the concept and the work that had gone into finding real suppliers for their products.

Seedify Planter

Jonathan, Chloe and Rhian, also in the Second Year impressed the judges with a slick, confident and thoughtful presentation which introduced them to ‘Seedify’, a customisable planter which was modular and designed for those who either had little outdoor space or wanted to grow plants indoors. Their design was well thought through and the judges were impressed by the diverse range of opportunities they had identified for marketing their product to different audiences. They also loved the name and the strength of the branding.

Pulse Trainers – our winners!

Our Firstt Year team of Roman, Posh, Barney, Samuel and Bjorn wowed the judges with Pulse Trainers. Their idea was an incredible mix of features built into custom-built trainers which could monitor your pulse as well as warm and massage your feet. Their concept was made from recycled plastic and they had thoughtfully considered not only the environmental impact of their design, but also the potentially life-saving element of the idea. They explained that accurate pedal pulse taking could report to high-risk adults or indeed professional athletes if their pulse was becoming erratic, giving an opportunity for medical intervention. The judges were not only impressed by the concept and the presentation but also by the obvious and genuine collaboration between the team. They were all able to answer questions about their work in a coherent and enthusiastic way, never contradicting the shared vision of their design.

It was another great evening which allowed our pupils to showcase their ability to think and work creatively on a project. We are all looking forward to seeing how the winners will continue to work together and as each year we see more invention and innovation, the judges are already getting excited about what our pupils will present to them next year.

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