After seeing a documentary about huge increases in premature births in Syria brought on by the stress of war, a university student started designing an incubator that could be deployed cheaply in the developing world.

This week, James Roberts’ inflatable incubator called MOM won the 2014 James Dyson Award. With $45,000 in prize money, the 23-year-old graduate from Loughborough University will perfect his prototype for market.

Incubators that the western world takes for granted cost upwards of $45,000 and waste energy. The collapsible units are one hundred times cheaper and designed to meet the challenges of the developing world and disaster zones.

Costing $400, it can be easily transported, inflated manually and runs off a battery which lasts 24 hours, in case of power outages. The MOM is kept warm using ceramic heating elements and a small computer to set and regulate any temperature and humidity. An alarm will sound if the desired temperature changes and a lamp is provided for babies that suffer from Jaundice.

Roberts says he endured many challenges along the way. “I had to sell my car to fund my first prototype!”

“The dream would be to meet a child that my incubator has saved – living proof that my design has made a difference.”

(WATCH the video from early 2014 or READ today’s article at the BBC)

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