Solveiga Pakštaitė, former Brunel University London student of Industrial Design & Technology, has been named MIT Technology Review’s Inventor of the Year for her Mimica Touch food expiry label. The award was presented at the annual Innovators Under 35 Europe Summit in Paris in September.
Solveiga found that ‘use by’ dates on food packaging are not always accurate, and this contributes to mountains of perfectly good food being wasted every year.
Mimica Touch (formerly known as Bump Mark) was designed to provide a more accurate method of determining whether food is still edible. The food label contains gelatine which breaks down at the same rate as the food inside the package. Once the food is no longer safe to eat, the user will be able to feel bumps on the label and will know to dispose of it.
The concept was originally devised as part of Solveiga’s final-year project at Brunel in order to help the visually impaired who cannot read dates on traditional food labels. However, she has since found that her design could revolutionise food labelling for all.
“A true entrepreneur”
The MIT Technology Review is the magazine of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its annual Innovators Under 35 Summit is designed to award the most talented entrepreneurs and innovators who are developing new technologies that address the most pressing issues faced by society.
Jury member for the awards, Cécile Tharaud, Vice President of Innovation at Grupo NAOS, describes Mimica Touch as a daring, simple and revolutionary proposal with great social and environmental impact, adding that Solveiga represents “a true entrepreneur, who looks for partners in different realms” in order to develop her product.
Solveiga was thrilled to receive the award: “The whole experience was made even more special as the award sponsor, Microsoft, invited Duygu Kayaman – an amazing woman in tech who is not stopped by having a visual impairment – to present the award. The Mimica project started from my desire to improve accessibly to expiry dates for all, and it was so nice to see how excited she was for the possibilities for the future of food.”
No stranger to awards, Solveiga has achieved phenomenal success since graduating in 2014, picking up accolades including the Mayor of London Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award, the James Dyson UK Award and the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award, along with a great deal of industry recognition.
Part of Solveiga’s incredible journey has included working with the Central Research Laboratory, a thriving facility in Hayes, West London, supported by Brunel to assist design start-ups.
For more details about Mimica Touch, visit www.mimicalab.com or www.twitter.com/mimicalab. The Innovators Under 35 Summit website can be found at https://innovatorsunder35.com/europe.
Vicky Phillips, Media Relations