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Wicklow Company Smart Storage and TU Dublin Announce new Design Innovation Award 2020

Smart Storage Ltd (based in Newtownmountkennedy) and TU Dublin announced this week the first Smart Storage Design Innovation Award. With an initial prize fund of €5,000 the competition is looking for students to design the next storage solution for Irish homes.

Paul Jacob, CEO of Smart Storage from Greystones, said at the launch that “storage in new and existing Irish homes is always an issue. In our tenth year in business, we have partnered with TU Dublin to challenge their students to look at Irish homes and see what unused space is available and give their solution to finding extra storage in the home. We are looking for a new workable concept from students, which we could look to develop to the production stage as the next storage solution idea for homes across the country.”

Robert Simpson, Assistant Head of School of Mechanical and Design Engineering, responsible for Product Design in TU Dublin, said at the launch that “Technological University Dublin are delighted that our students have been invited to participate in this competition. In TU Dublin we strive to get our students to apply their learning to real-world situations and this is a great example where students will be tasked with a problem and using multi-disciplinary design skills come up with novel solutions.”

Students entering the competition will be asked to detail and design a new storage idea for an unused space in the home, not being utilised to its full potential. The aim of this competition is to take full advantage of parts of the home that are currently lying unused. This competition is open to all students in TU Dublin but especially to programmes in the areas of Mechanical and Design Engineering, Timber Product Technology, Architecture, Product Design and Interior Design.

Smart Storage Ltd is an Irish company that specialise in discrete under stair storage solutions but have also evolved their storage solutions to multiple rooms and spaces in the home. 

Smart Storage initially started the business in 2010, but winning investment from Norah Casey on Dragon’s Den in 2012 gave the company a huge boost. Smart Storage has continued to grow and prosper throughout extremely difficult times in the Irish market. Reflecting on the past 10 years, Jacob remarked “I started this company in the height of the recession, but with hard work and invaluable investment and support from Norah we now have 70 employees and installed over 40,000 storage units in homes across Ireland.”

This new collaboration with TU Dublin gives students a great opportunity to put what they learn in college into practical use and, similar to Dragon Den’s, pitch their ideas to a panel of experienced judges in the hope of their design being turned into a product that is brought to market.

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