Ford announces Innovation winner

Ford has announced the winner of the 2017 Ford UK Innovation Challenge. This award is part of the Ford College Community Challenge, a programme which supports young people, encouraging social entrepreneurship through the implementation of sustainable community solutions.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Ford C3 globally and the third anniversary of its operation in Europe, where it partners with registered charity Enactus. Enactus is an international non-profit organisation that provides a platform for student-led university teams to create community development projects, operating in 58 universities across the UK.

The Ford UK Innovation Challenge offers Enactus student teams the opportunity to win a £25,000 award to upscale a community initiative that addresses an unmet social need or problem.

Yesterday, three shortlisted teams presented their proposals to a judging panel at the Ford UK Warley Headquarters. Today Jim Vella, president of the Ford Motor Company Fund, announced the University of Sheffield as the winner with their project ‘Motion’. Motion is a social enterprise that designs and delivers chair-based exercise sessions for the elderly with the intent of increasing physical mobility, reducing social isolation and improving the lives of participants while also providing employment for locally vulnerable people.

‘All the teams would have been worthy winners but the Motion project really stood out as a transformational idea that impacts lives and contributes towards physical, social and economic mobility,’ said Vella. ‘We were so impressed with all the projects however that we are also going to give the University of Edinburgh and the University of Nottingham teams a £5,000 award.’

Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said, ‘We are delighted to be able to support these exceptional young innovators as they provide creative and sustainable solutions to real-world community issues. Enactus gives these students a fantastic platform to demonstrate their abilities and our Ford Fund award will support the project implementation’.