Sam Smith



Sam has always been an inventor by nature and got the idea for developing a venting device for babies’ feeding bottles while watching a TV programme in 2002. Inspired, Sam was making a prototype within two hours of watching the programme and had a working model later the same day!

The brief

Traditional bottle feeding means mothers trying to get the most milk down and then the most air up as safely as they can! They know swallowing air, caused when a vacuum forms in the bottle and by air bubbles in the milk, can give rise to painful colic and ear fluid build up in babies. Sam’s device reduces the vacuum in the bottle, improving the flow of liquid, so babies can feed comfortably without swallowing troublesome air. Sam spent 18 months making prototypes to get a sample that would show the product’s potential and needed help to produce a working prototype and advice on funding.

The outcome

The Advanced Engineering Cluster team produced a new concept model for Sam, helped him with the production of professional drawings and 3D graphics and advice on how to take his invention forward to market.


Sam has recently signed a contract with Galpharm Babyway Ltd., the leading supplier of private label baby accessories in the UK. Galpharm are currently trialling Sam’s device in their bottles and hope to have the complete product ready for market this Spring.

“My early aspirations were dashed when I found how difficult it could be to make progress in bringing my original concept to reality. I hadn’t realised how much needed to be done and how much it would cost. Now, thanks to the Advanced Engineering Cluster, I’m really excited at the prospect of seeing a product I’ve invented finally on sale!”

Sam Smith