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Inventor wins Massey sponsored Welly Youth Award

Youth Award winner Benjamin Bell and Professor Giselle Byrnes, Massey University Assistant Vice-Chancellor Research, Academic and Enterprise.

A young inventor and entrepreneur has won the Massey University Youth Award in the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards. Seventeen-year-old Benjamin Bell from Otaki has been developing a high tech hospital wristband to help locate and protect patients and is continuing to develop the hardware and software so it is suitable for trial in a hospital environment.   

Mr Bell presented the concept of Wellbands to the Stanford MedX Health Summit in California earlier this year. He ran a successful crowd funding campaign in 2015, has been involved in various Startup events and last year placed in the top 10 in the Grow Wellington Innovating for Health competition, where he pitched Wellbands to Sir Stephen Tindall, founder and trustee of the Tindall Foundation.

Wellington campus registrar Deanna Riach was on the judging panel for the Youth category. She was impressed with the calibre and diversity of entries and says the Welly Awards' Youth category resonates with the University's values. 

"Both creativity and critical thinking have been highlighted as essential skills for the 21st century.Massey's students learn to use these skills effectively in order to solve today’s problems. The entrants all share qualities of passion, perseverance and talent. Our future is in good hands with young people such as these emerging as leaders of tomorrow.

"We see young people as driving the future of New Zealand. The finalists for this award have achieved at the highest levels, from cricket and acting to academic challenges and entrepreneurship. They demonstrate what can be achieved when people work hard and believe in themselves”, Mrs Riach says.

The Wellingtonian of the Year Awards were started in 1989 to celebrate achievements and contributions across all sectors of the greater Wellington community. Now known as The Wellys, the awards celebrate people across nine categories including arts, business, science and technology and the environment, with one overall winner recognised as the supreme Wellingtonian of the Year.