Innovation firms earn top industry gongs

The Royal Automobile Club has named Gordon Murray Design and Riversimple as winners of its prestigious Dewar Trophy and Simms Medal for 2016.

Both honours are only handed out when the Royal Automobile Club deems there have been contenders of sufficient merit.

The Dewar Trophy was presented to Gordon Murray Design founder, Gordon Murray, for his team’s development and application of the innovative iStream chassis concept, including its use in the Global Vehicle Trust OX all-terrain vehicle. The OX offers a cheap, versatile and durable flat-pack truck to some of the globe’s poorest areas and overall investment in factory and vehicle set-up is about five per cent of a conventional vehicle.

John Wood MBE, chairman of the Dewar technical committee, said, ‘Gordon Murray Design’s iStream technique presents a completely new way of thinking about vehicle construction and manufacture. In developing the OX all-terrain vehicle, the versatility of the iStream process is clearly demonstrated, resulting in a strong, durable and extremely affordable structure. It’s a genuine innovation that could positively affect the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest areas.’

Gordon Murray said, ‘It’s a great honour to receive such a prestigious award on behalf of our company.  I am extremely proud of what our team has achieved in industrialising iStream. Our mission has been to develop Formula One technology to a point where it is accessible to the everyday motorist and to enable affordable lightweighting and to introduce new levels of automotive durability and safety.’

Meanwhile, Riversimple became only the ninth recipient of the Simms Medal after developing its Rasa model from the ground up as an affordable, usable and forward-thinking hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

John said, ‘The Riversimple Rasa perfectly represents the ‘spirit of technical endeavour’ that the Simms Medal is awarded for. The car in itself is highly innovative, and has clearly demonstrated to the whole motoring community what is possible with a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle when you start with a clean sheet of paper. As well as its technical originality, Riversimple also has radical ideas about the way people own and run its cars.’

Riversimple founder, Hugo Spowers, said, ‘The Riversimple team is delighted and honoured that its efforts to produce a car that is truly a breakthrough have been recognised. The Rasa has been designed specifically for hydrogen use with a completely different architecture to conventional or battery electric cars. We are confident that the Rasa can bring a momentous change in the way mobility is delivered and in the longer-term will have a global impact on the sustainability of personal transport.’