Competition: Design the Change

According to the Spinal Injuries Association, it is thought that more than 50,000 people are living with a spinal cord injury in the UK. Could you invent a product that will improve the lives of people with a spinal cord injury?

Bolt Burdon Kemp, a law firm, and the charity Cerebra have launched a ‘Design the Change’ competition. They are giving away a whopping £3,000 to a college, undergraduate or postgraduate student in the UK who can come up with an idea that:

• Is original
• Considers the needs of people with a spinal cord injury
• Solves a practical, day-to-day problem for people with spinal cord injury
• Demonstrates commercial awareness and is viable

Teams of up to four students can also enter. The winner (or one member of the winning team) will also be offered a week’s placement at Cerebra’s research centre and £2,000 for their university or college.


Regrettably, many people with a disability, including spinal cord injury, experience issues with accessibility in the UK. For example, in housing, less than half of Britain’s planning authorities factor in accessibility standards into their guidelines, says Habinteg Housing Association.

Similarly, in the transportation sector, popular London commuter journeys take up to 1 hour and 35 minutes longer for a people in a wheelchair than those without a wheelchair. Could you come up with an invention that would help in these circumstances?

Or, watch this video from Victoria Oliver at Bolt Burdon Kemp for even more ideas.

How to enter

  1. Complete the entry form
  2. Email with your entry.

Your entry must detail the key steps outlined in the brief, and can take one of several forms, including:

  • A series of 3-4 A3-sized PDFs
  • A video, of 5 minutes or less, uploaded privately to YouTube
  • A combination of words and images delivered as a PDF document, including early sketches, photographs and CAD renderings, if created

The deadline for entries is 23 April 2021.

Read more about this:

Bolt Burdon Kemp: Design the Change competition 2020-21