Entrepreneur James Has a Grand Idea

New steering design could change the way we drive

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A young entrepreneur from Hammersmith has scooped a national award after creating an innovative new steering design which could change the way we all drive.

James Martin's invention AAAS Steering (short for Annularly Arranged Articulating Segments) promises its users improved manoeuvrability combined with reduced wear and tear on tyres, which means a longer tyre life, decreased fuel consumption and a reduction in toxic fumes created by the disposal of old tyres.

James, 25, impressed the panel of judges in the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards with his business idea and has been awarded £1,000 to develop AAAS Steering.

At first AAAS Steering will target the materials handling vehicle sector, particularly the forklift truck market. These vehicles need to be highly manoeuvrable and their tyres wear quickly, exactly where this technology can add the most value.

However, in the future, James says he would like to see the business diversify to produce its own tyres and to become the steering "norm" used in everyday vehicles on the road worldwide.

 James, who has always dabbled in design and engineering, won an Engineering Leadership Award in 2007 which allowed him to jet-set around the globe and see some of the world’s finest inventions.

The award, developed by the Royal Academy of Engineering and funded by the Institute of Physics, inspired him to create his own model, which he claims, " just popped into my mind one day when I couldn’t sleep!"

 The Shell LiveWIRE Grand Idea Awards, launched in 2009 against the backdrop of the recession, are designed to give aspiring entrepreneurs a no-strings-attached financial boost of £1,000 to help them get their business ideas off the ground. The awards are held monthly and entrepreneurs from all over the UK can submit their entries through the LiveWIRE website.

James says: " In such a tough economic climate, it’s easy to be put off starting a business but I’d urge any young entrepreneurs with a good idea to have a go.  There’s a lot of support available from programmes like Shell LiveWIRE, which can help you turn your business idea into a reality. 

" The financial boost of winning a Grand Ideas Award will help me to develop a high quality, 2nd generation prototype to approach potential business partners with, but it’s the recognition of winning an award like this that really makes a difference and has given me more confidence to promote the technology."

James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK, said: " There is a wealth of entrepreneurial talent in the UK and I hope other young entrepreneurs will be inspired by James to capitalise on their own ideas. We wish James Martin every success and hope the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award will help him to take the business all the way."

The Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas awards are the newest innovation from Shell LiveWIRE, which has been giving free support to would-be entrepreneurs since 1982.  The programme hosts a business networking community which enables the  nation's best business brains to share ideas and inspiration with fellow entrepreneurs who understand the challenge they are all facing.

If you have a grand idea or what to find out more visit www.shell-livewire.org

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April 16, 2010

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