MOM Wins James Dyson Award to Help Premature Babies in Developing Countries

We love to feature design that has a positive global impact and this invention is certainly noteworthy for the developing world. James Roberts, winner of the 2014 James Dyson Award, designed MOM, the inflatable incubator. His invention has all the functionality of first-world incubators found in neonatal facilities but at a fraction of the cost ($400 vs. $40,000.) It includes a digital screen to monitor temperature and humidity, light therapy for babies with jaundice, and an alarm sensor if temperature/humidity change. The machine can be operated by any power source including a car battery and can be shipped flat anywhere in the world.

Roberts is a 23 year old engineering student from UK’s Loughborough University. He created his vision after learning about the high number of newborn deaths in Syrian refugee camps due to premature birth complications.

“I was watching a Panorama programme on BBC about Syrian refugees, and they had a segment about how there are loads of premature kids dying because of the stresses of war and specifically the lack of incubators out there and the infrastructure to support them,” he recalls during an interview with BBC.

Roberts wanted to solve that problem and thus, MOM was born.

According to the World Health Organization, 15 million babies are born prematurely per year and one million of these preterm babies die due to complications. Incubators help during the high risk phase when regulating temperature and oxygen is crucial for the baby’s survival.

Although the design has already passed feasibility tests, it will still need to undergo medical testing before use in the field. According to MOM’s website, this machine complies with British incubation standards including providing a stable heat environment, humidification, and phototherapy unit. Roberts plans to use the $45,000 prize money he won from the James Dyson Award to further develop the invention.

Congratulations, James Robert and to the James Dyson Foundation for discovering this brilliant idea.

Invention: MOM, an inflatable low-cost incubator for premature babies
Inventors: James Robert
Capability: Inflatable incubator designed for developing world.
Recent Successes: Patent-pending and 2014 James Dyson Award for innovation in design solving a problem. Major news coverage and features.


Behind the Label is a Designer with a Mission.

Since 1984, the Eileen Fisher clothing company has built its business with ethical partners who share the company’s core values. The company is an advocate for human rights issues, sustainability and empowering women. The brilliantly simple innovation here isn’t necessarily a tangible product but rather a concept – that a company can thrive and survive in an uncertain economic climate and still maintain its true core values, integrity and ethical business practices.

Eileen Fisher Inc. not only manufactures a notable portion of its business in the USA, but gloablly supports infrastructure that helps families and businesses operate in underdeveloped countries.  The company takes part in a number of initiatives including global initiatives that empower women and girls.


Delve into Fisher’s “Behind the Label” vision for the company where you can see first hand the culture and passion in producing with a purpose. Particularly noteworthy initiatives include their focus on making sure the goods they produce don’t infringe on human rights. Check out this great story on preventing human trafficking and slavery in the supply chain.

Invention: Eileen Fisher Inc.
Inventors: Eileen Fisher
Capability: Women’s clothing company that integrates a major socially conscious business model – staying true to core values, vision and principals. Established in 1984, the company produces “simple clothes that make getting dressed easy.”
Recent Successes: The Fisher brand continues to thrive in uncertain economic conditions. In 2005, Eileen sold her company to her 875 employees through an ESOP and remained Chief Creative Officer.