South West students impress internationally

South West students scooped third prize for their idea to create a customisable games controller from a new material in an entrepreneurship event in Belgium last month.

The International Mega Brainstorm event took place in Ghent, Belgium on 24 and 25 November. Students from Somerset College joined up with peers from Devon to compete and collaborate with University teams from across Europe.

The students were presented with a challenge to invent a product using an innovative new polymer material. In teams the students developed ideas, prototypes and business models and went head to head to pitch their products to a panel of judges.

The idea for a customisable games controller came from Noah Dennis, of Petroc College in Devon who said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in Ghent. We had a really good couple of days at the business event. I’m glad that my ideas were praised. My idea was the favourite with the students and overall we came third.”

Students from Somerset included Art student Samuel Hinton. He said: “The Mega Brainstorm was really good; mixing with different universities and seeing how they work was really interesting. I think we were the only arts students so we kind of had an edge on the creative side of things.”

Jasmine Palmer who also studies at Somerset College added: “It was a really good experience. I learned some new things about product design and I really enjoyed looking around Ghent. Now I’ve got a load of creative ideas to take back to college.”

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy at Somerset County Council, said: “This was a great opportunity for students from Somerset to learn from their peers in Europe and bring back shared ideas. These will help them throughout their studies and beyond in their future professional lives. Well done to all who took part.”

The Mega Brainstorm event was funded by the EU Interreg IVB initiative called the Open Innovation Project. In the South West, Somerset County Council is a partner in the Open Innovation Project.

A video of the event is available to view at and photos can be seen here.