News story

UK’s youngest inventors win awards

The Cracking Ideas competition asked entrants to come up with a sporty creation and to highlight the four types of intellectual property created…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Cracking Ideas competition asked entrants to come up with a sporty creation and to highlight the four types of intellectual property created - an invention or gadget; the design of the product; a name or logo to trade mark and a copyrighted advertising campaign.

Baroness Wilcox, Minister for Intellectual Property, awarded the national winners and 14 regional winners for their creativity and inventions in a ceremony at the Liverpool Spaceport.

The UK winners are:

  • Jessica Williamson, aged eight of Stewarton, Scotland invented Wallace & Gromit style ‘Wrong Trousers’ lace-up football boots, with a spring sole contraption to assist with goal-scoring.

  • BritneyAnn Guest, aged 11 of Kidderminster, England designed ‘Mini Flatleys’ dancing shoes with a free lucky charm bracelet for greater performance and comfort.

  • Elliot Comnene, aged 13 of Bonnyrigg, Scotland created the ‘Footie ChairSpring-O-Matic’ to help wheelchair users develop their football skills.

The three were each presented with an original trophy created by Nick Park’s Aardman Animation studio. Each regional finalist also received a board game, animation software, DVD and a book signed by Nick Park.

The national winners saw off tough competition from more than 4,000 entrants. The competition is part of the Intellectual Property Office’s Wallace & Gromit’s Cracking Ideas campaign which aims to encourage innovation amongst school children.

Baroness Wilcox said:

“Congratulations to Jessica, BritneyAnn and Elliot and all the other winners recognised today. There was a fantastic range of entries showing how imaginative and innovative our children are. It’s wonderful to see such imaginative thinking and creativity, because these children are the future and will shape this country’s continuing success and growth.”

Merlin Crossingham, Creative Director at Aardman Animations said:

“With the nation going sport mad this year, these inventions will help inspire athletes to use their minds as well as their bodies!

“As like last year, the range and originality of ideas was very high and made it very difficult to choose overall winners. It’s refreshing to see so many great ideas from young people. Keep it up!”

Notes to editors

  1. Baroness Wilcox is available for interview requests and photos of the Minister with the winners can be found at [](
  2. Any media interested in interviews including speaking to the winners should contact IPO Press Officer, Veena Mapara:; 020 7215 5614.
  3. Children’s TV presenter, Gareth Jones will be at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 19 June and will be available for interviews.
  4. Brief details of all winning entries can be found at
  5. There were no entries for the Northern Ireland age group 4-7.
  6. Cracking Ideas is a Government-backed project and uses a combination of lesson plans, activity packs, challenges and dedicated website, to encourage innovation and creativity amongst children aged four to 16, all with links to the UK curriculum.
  7. Merlin Crossingham creative director at Aardman Animations picked the winning entries from 11 regional winners.
  8. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
  9. Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.
  10. It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP) to which the United Kingdom is a party.
  11. For emergency media calls out-of-hours please contact the duty press officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on +44 (0) 20 7215 3505.
  12. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone




Name Veena Mapara Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone 020 7215 5614 Fax



Published 19 June 2012