Steve Heaword explains how accessing the funded programme, SAMPID, has helped reimagine the design for a ballistic vest tailored to the female form.
Crib Gogh is a Stoke-based business that develops ‘outside-the-box’ ideas and transforms them into multi-operational products ready for the mainstream market. Their unique clientele, such as militaries, currently use their notable specialist equipment such as ballistic vests and multifunctional rucksacks.
Funded Business Support
Crib Gogh accessed funded business support through Staffordshire University programme: "Staffordshire Advanced Manufacturing, Prototyping and Innovation Demonstrator" (SAMPID).
After joining SAMPID, Emma Hearn, Staffordshire University’s Fashion undergraduate, joined the team as an intern to support the development of the prototype. With mentor support from Senior Lecturer course leader of Fashion, Rachel Heeley, Emma spent over a month researching ballistic vest design, material, and construction. After enough research, she felt confident in reimagining the ballistic vest and turned to the Product Development Lab to begin the practical side of the internship.
The intern worked closely with Daniel Williamson, Technical Specialist from Staffordshire University, to redesign the ballistic vest to better suit the female form. Using specialist university equipment such as a 3D printer, Emma and Dan were able to develop a prototype that joined two vests together to add more protection for different body types.
Access to specialist equipment such as the 3D printer rapidly increased the speed of the design cycle, making the project more time-efficient and saving costs.
Technical Director, Steve Heaword, has been impressed at the rapid rate at which the product has been developed and released to The Home Office, that they have extended Emma Hearn’s contract for a few more months, with more opportunities to work alongside them as a freelancer, as more ideas come their way.
The prototype will have to go through the Home Office for ballistic testing. If it passes the test, it will change the dynamic globally.
This project is fully funded by Staffordshire University and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 and offered completely free of charge to each participating business.
The university offers a step change, and it’s the best way to describe it: for bringing an idea to life.