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Boris backs Bump Mark with £20,000 prize

Brunel graduate Solveiga Pakstaite has added the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur prize to the Dyson Award she won for her innovative final-year food label project – the Bump Mark.

The idea, which came to her during her placement year designing products for people with sight loss, uses the properties of gelatine to exactly match the rate to which fresh foods go off.

The Bump Mark is designed to be much more accurate than “use by” dates. It starts off feeling smooth to the touch but once the food inside becomes unsafe to eat the gelatine turns liquid and the label feels bumpy.

As well as being perfect for people with sight loss, Solveiga hopes the patented idea will help reduce the tonnes of perfectly good food discarded each year in the UK, which is past its use by date but still safe to eat.

The Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition asks London's students and recent graduates to come up with ideas to reduce the capital's energy use and carbon emissions.

Two other Brunel University London student projects made the 10-strong shortlist, including international student accommodation finder Stars Key and Hutch from MBA students Rajan Dua and Paul Ouro.

The business uses a societal web-platform, digital word of mouth and offline campaigning to promote eco-homes and energy efficient housing, ranking most highly the rental properties that have the best environment-friendly features.

While design strategy and innovation Master’s graduate Sebastian Grenzhäuser came up with CycleBay, a London-wide network of conveniently located parking locations for cyclists, making biking across London convenient and safe, and motivating more people to cycle.

Each finalist had to pitch their idea at a Dragon’s Den-style event in London’s City Hall to a panel of judges which included the capital’s mayor, Boris Johnson.

Solveiga, an Industrial Design and Technology graduate, won the national James Dyson Scholarship Award for her design last year.