17 Jul 23

Bionic innovators at Science Creates receive prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering award from HRH The Princess Royal


Science Creates members and trailblazing engineers, Joel Gibbard MBE and Samantha Payne MBE, have been awarded the prestigious Princess Royal Silver Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Joining two other esteemed engineering innovators at last week’s Academy Awards Dinner in London, Open Bionics’ CEO, Joel Gibbard MBE and COO, Samantha Payne MBE, were presented with the Princess Royal Silver Medal, by Princess Anne, HRH The Princess Royal herself.

Under Joel and Samantha’s leadership, Open Bionics is developing revolutionary, low-cost bionic prosthetics by combining 3D scanning and 3D printing to reduce the cost and improve the fitting process of robotic prosthetics. Its first product, the Hero Arm, is a myoelectric prosthetic for children and adults with below elbow amputations and limb differences. 

Through a royalty-free licensing deal with The Walt Disney Company, Open Bionics turns disabilities into superpowers by offering Disney, Star Wars and Marvel inspired bionic covers for free to limb-different children and adults with Hero Arms. As covered by both the BBC and Sky News, Open Bionics is also working with The Superhumans Centre to provide prostheses, rehabilitation and counselling to civilians and Ukrainian soldiers who have lost limbs as a result of the war.

With the company working at the forefront of developing state-of-the-art prosthetics which transform the quality of life for limb-different people, this award recognises Joel and Samantha’s impact as two of the UK’s leading engineering innovators. 

The Royal Academy of Engineering is the UK’s national academy of engineering, and it is working to harness the power of engineering and technology to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. The Princess Royal Silver Medal is one of the Academy’s most prestigious individual awards with there being a maximum of four recipients of this award each year. The Chair of the Academy’s Committee, Professor Bashir M Al-Hashimi CBE FREng, said: “The recipients of The Princess Royal Silver Medal for 2023 are not only making measurable contributions to engineering in the UK, but are exporting the benefits of their innovations around the world to advance progress in numerous sectors and help those in need.”

Speaking on their distinguished and fitting win during Disability Pride Month, Joel and Samantha shared: We’re incredibly honoured to see Open Bionics receive national recognition for its work within the prosthetics industry. The Hero Arm was a step change for users and clinicians.  We’re super excited to have taken everything we have learned so far and put it into our next product. Watch this space – there’s more innovation to come!

Science Creates Ventures invested in Open Bionics last year as part of its Fund 1 to support the company in scaling its operations in the US and progressing its pipeline of innovative robotic products. Principal of Science Creates Ventures, Catherine Fletcher shares: “I am continually inspired by Open Bionics’ mission-driven commitment to empowering individuals through innovative technology. Their work demonstrates how groundbreaking engineering can transcend barriers, redefine boundaries, and transform the quality of life for those with limb differences.”

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Science Creates Ventures LLP “trading as SCVC” (FRN: 933134) is an Appointed Representative of Kin Capital Partners LLP “KCP”, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 656789).