A Brecon High School pupil has won a prestigious award for an innovative idea to help climbers practice their skills.

Finn Channing Davies took home the top prize at the 23rd annual Innovation Awards, hosted by WJEC.

The awards, held in the heart of Cardiff Bay on December 14 at The Senedd, celebrated the achievements of budding inventors.

In collaboration with the Welsh Government, the Innovation Awards aim to inspire creativity among young minds in Wales, urging them to rethink conventional designs of everyday products and services. After a triumphant return in 2022 following a two-year hiatus, the 23rd edition showcased a wealth of inventive ideas from talented young minds.

The event also served as a fitting tribute to the legacy of Welsh inventors, acknowledging their contributions, including the creation of pioneering inventions such as the modern microphone, X-ray, and radar technology.

Finn Channing Davies, from Brecon High School, took home the Intellectual Property Prize for an innovative climbing hang board, designed to help climbers develop and practice gripping skills. Judges were impressed by the way the project approached the full product design journey with emphasis on its final commercialisation. 

Finn said: “My Dad taught me how to climb from a very young age and has been a passion of mine ever since.  Design & Technology is a tough subject, definitely has its challenges, but if it’s something you are passionate about, then it’s 100 per cent the best choice you can make.”

Finn collecting the award
Finn collecting the award (Image supplied)

Ian Morgan, WJEC Chief Executive, said: “The Innovations Awards is an event that I look forward to every year. The ceremony highlights the importance of recognising young talent in Wales and acknowledging the level of commitment and hard work that goes into these products.

“Once again, we have been blown away by the standard of our award entries, presenting our judges with some tough decisions, and I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all our entrants, no matter the result.

“I want to express our gratitude to all those who have supported and nurtured the next generation through their ongoing support. We deeply understand the importance of teachers, guardians, and family members who remain present every step of the way, supporting young learner’s creative quests. And, of course, we extend our appreciation to the Welsh Government. Without their constant support, this event could not take place."

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: "As set out in our innovation strategy, Wales Innovates, we believe fostering a culture of innovation is vital. It helps ensure young people have a springboard into high quality, skilled apprenticeships and careers - so I'm delighted we continue to partner with the WJEC to deliver the Wales Innovation Awards.

"This event is a wonderful opportunity to open young people's eyes to the relevance of design and technology and allow them to be recognised for their technological innovations. A big congratulations to everybody who made it to the finals!"

Innovation Award winners
Innovation Award winners (Image supplied)

In a nod to previous success, several promising inventors from last year’s Innovation Awards inventions have earned the honour of having their patent applications allowed by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and are awaiting official patent.

Ewan Brough from Brynteg Comprehensive School in Bridgend has been working with trademark and patent attorneys Abel + Imray to patent his integrated kitchen knife block, along with Ellie Penaluna from Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun in Rhondda Cynon Taf, who is awaiting patent for her food cutting guard.

In response to their success, Dr Peri Jones, European Patent Attorney, Abel + Imray said: “It has been a pleasure working with Ellie and Ewan, to educate them about patents and the value of Intellectual Property. It is inspiring to see the innovation that comes from the GCSE and A-level projects every year, and we are looking forward to supporting the WJEC and WJEC Innovation Awards for many years to come.”

For further information about the competition visit: https://www.wjec.co.uk/home/innovation-awards/