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Brighton graduate’s invention offers a brighter future for cyclists

Brighton University graduate Emily Brooke has come up with a bike light to keep cyclists safe.

She designed a light called Blaze which projects a laser image of a bicycle from the handlebars on to the road ahead in either flashing or constant mode.

The aim of the light is to warn drivers looking to turn left or right who are unable to see cyclists riding alongside them when they are in the driver’s blind spot.

It is hoped that Miss Brooke’s invention will cut the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in Britain’s roads – the figure was more than 3,000 last year.

Emily Brooke

Studies have indicated that almost 80 per cent of casualties are hit when they are cycling straight ahead and a car or other vehicle hits them.

One recent casualty was Olympic champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.

Miss Brooke came up with her safety light while studying product design at Brighton.

This week, after two years of product development, she saw her invention presented to the public.

She said: “The journey has been incredible. It is so exciting to see the concept as an actual working product – and that it will go some way to helping cyclists be more visible on our roads.”

She graduated last year and won a place on an entrepreneurial scholarship at Babson College in the American state of Massachusetts, after being nominated by Beepurple, the university’s enterprise network.

She was also selected as an inaugural member of Entrepreneur First, an accelerator programme encouraging graduates to start a business.

She worked with Brighton and Hove City Council, Brighton and Hove Buses, road safety experts and driving psychologists to develop Blaze.

Her course leader Richard Morris, principal lecturer in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, said: “Product design students are very good at generating creative ideas aimed at solving difficult problems as part of their final year.

“It is a real pleasure to see the university working at its best to help them do this and providing support across a range of subject areas such as engineering, design and business to turn these ideas into fully developed products.

“It is even more satisfying then to see these ideas materialise into the kind of innovative commercial products that help to stimulate the economy.

“We often see this happening with the companies we work with but are delighted to see students running with their ideas to develop their own businesses.

“It takes great drive to do this so Emily is an inspiration for all budding student entrepreneurs.

“Blaze is a great product too, with the potential to save many lives, so we will continue to give Emily our best wishes and to support her endeavours.”

Miss Brooke said: “I am so grateful for my time there and I really loved the course. And Beepurple have been absolutely fantastic.”

She is raising capital for production of the first batch of Blaze Bike Lights on the crowdfunding website www.kickstarter.com.

For more information go to www.blazecomponents.com.

 

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