Inventor Alexander K Bushell and Joanna Lumley OBE Win International Invention Award

TheRaincatcherKent Science Park based inventor Alexander K Bushell and Joanna Lumley OBE have won a platinum award in the International Invention of the Year category at the British and International Invention Awards 2013.

Alexander and Joanna joined forces to unveil two new products at the British Invention Show 2013 – a prestigious four-day exhibition, which culminated in an award ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London. The two products that won an award were the Raincatcher and Solar Desalination System (SDS) – both of which have been designed to confront one of the world’s most serious problems: the supply of clean, safe drinking water.

Both the Raincatcher and SDS are incredibly simple, and the process by which clean water is produced begins with factors in the natural environment. The Raincatcher does exactly what its name suggests – it collects and filters rainwater so that it can be used for drinking, horticultural or animal feeding purposes. Similarly, the SDS is a modular solar desalination system, where seawater is turned into clean, safe drinking water through evaporation by the sun. The system rids seawater of salt, so that it too can be used for drinking or horticultural reasons.

Both of these products can function as either single or multiple units, meaning that a series of Raincatchers for example can be linked together to create a valuable water supply for a whole community. In this respect, they have the capability to begin combating the ongoing water crisis that exists in much of the developing world, where 3.4 million people die every year from a water related disease and a further 780million people lack access to clean, safe drinking water. With the Raincatcher and SDS, these numbers could be significantly reduced.

Alexander and his technology group have been based at Kent Science Park for many years now, where he has been developing a vast range of systems and products in the medical, horticultural and renewable energy fields. The ongoing support from Joanna Lumley has been invaluable to their development, along with that which he has received from the Park itself.

Joanna Lumley OBE explained why she got involved with the projects, “All over the world I have seen with my own eyes the difference clean water can make to a community: quite simply it’s the difference between health and disease, life and death. Pure water is in short supply even in countries where clean rain buckets down from the skies, and yet women are still struggling to care for their children with foul water contaminated by sewage. These brilliant products are specially targeted at the poorest communities, and I am both excited and proud to be involved in their development. It means that we in the First World can truly make a difference to the suffering of millions of people in developing nations. I believe that Alexander’s inventions take a simple and affordable step in exactly the right direction. Clean safe drinking water: it doesn’t sound much but it is by far the most important thing in the whole world.”

Alexander also commented on their success at the awards and how grateful he is for Joanna’s support, ”For us to show our products at the British Invention Show was an honour in itself, but to be recognised with an International Invention Award is even better. This means that our products have stood out against inventions from all over the world, and that other people can see their potential. I would like to thank Joanna for her commitment and support with the projects, and I am very much looking forward to the journey ahead.”

James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park, congratulated Alexander and Joanna on their achievement: “It is wonderful to hear of his success at the British Invention Award and that he is being recognised for the amazing work that he does. Our aim at Kent Science Park is to support and nurture small businesses and this is why we introduced the LaunchPad initiative – to allow start-ups and smaller companies to grow and flourish in Kent. The environment here at Kent Science Park is unrivalled. It allows innovative people like Alex to thrive, and in turn helps revolutionary, ground breaking products like the SDS and Raincatcher to make those much needed differences around the world.”

For more information on the SDS and Raincatcher, please visit and More information can also be found by visiting the Kent Science Park website:

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