Water waste invention wins Tech4Good Awards

The awards from BT recognise the work of young people to develop innovations to address a variety of societal issues

BT has awarded four home-schooled children its prestigious Young Pioneer Award at the annual Tech4Good Awards. The award is in recognition of their Water Watcher device, which aims to combat the problem of water wastage. 

The children, aged between nine and 16, are close friends who developed the device to tackle the issue of water being wasted due to taps being left on as a result of memory loss, dementia, dyslexia or brain injury. Small and inexpensive, the product can fit onto any tap and uses the vibrations of the water with a timer and alarm system to alert the user if the tap is left running.

Alex Lynch, 16 years-old, a member of the Water Watcher team said: “It is a dream come true to have won this award. We have worked so hard as a team to come up with Water Watcher. Winning the BT Young Pioneer Award is so great, and we hope our device can help people all over the world.” 

The Highly Commended Award in the BT Young Pioneer Category went to Code Camp, a registered charity that was set up by 16-year-old Mahek Vara to teach computer programming skills to children in developing countries. So far it has reached over 70,000 students in India alone, equipping them with invaluable skills and knowledge.

BT’s Connected Society award was won by the Small Robot Company. This company looks to re-imagine farming in the robotic age by using robots to plant, feed, and weed arable crops autonomously. The company is run by farmers, for farmers and has the ambition of providing a global solution for waste which costs the farming industry £80bn a year. The Small Robot Company will benefit from BT’s support and advice from its renowned Infinity Lab Team, who will be helping and mentoring the team. BT Infinity Lab has helped many tech start-ups to take the next steps in growing their business.

Ian Caveney, Head of Digital and Social Inclusion at BT said: “We were blown away by all the entries to Tech4Good this year. Both BT winners focused closely on helping to reduce waste, which is an increasingly worrying global issue. We support the Tech4Good Awards as it’s so important to recognise the incredible work young people are doing. We hope this will lead to inspiring other budding entrepreneurs to change the world using technology for good.” 

The awards, run by disability charity AbilityNet, is in its eighth year and recognises organisations and individuals who use digital technology to improve lives. As a founding sponsor of the awards, BT recognises the importance of fostering new ideas and technology that improve lives.

UK Tech4Good Award Winners 2018:

  • Accessibility Award – Be My Eyes
  • BT Connected Society Award – Small Robot Company
  • BT Young Pioneer Award – Water watcher (Code Camp – Highly Commended)
  • Comic Relief Tech4Good for Africa Award – Unlocking Talent Through Technology
  • Community Impact Award –  Mind of My Own
  • Digital Health Award – TapSOS (Apart of Me – Highly Commended)
  • Digital Skills Award – Generation Code
  • Tech Volunteer for the Year – Anna Holland-Smith

 For further information on the award winners, please visit: https://www.tech4goodawards.com/about/