Newark Announces $100,000 Live EDGE International Challenge

Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), the leading multi-channel, high service distributor and its companies (Newark, Farnell, Premier Electronics, CPC, Farnell-Newark and MCM) launched its international competition Live EDGE – Electronic Design for the Global Environment, now in its second year. The competition is designed to provide a forum where electronic design engineers and students can design products that are environmentally-friendly through the use of electronic components.

Registration for news, updates and activities begins on May 6, 2008 via the Live EDGE website or on the Live EDGE Design Challenge group on Facebook. The Live EDGE website will soon feature social networking tools and a community forum for engineers to share and develop ideas. Entries can be submitted between October 1, 2008 and January 31, 2009. Judging will start on February 1, 2009 and winners will be announced on April 2, 2009. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over. Electronics engineers, students and inventors around the world are invited to submit designs for an innovative product that utilizes electronic components and has a positive impact on the environment, for example by increasing energy efficiency or reducing carbon emissions.

The winning entrant for both the full-time student and the general/open category will receive a cash prize of $25,000 as well as design support package valued at an additional $25,000 to move their design towards production. The support package will include the services of an electronic design consultancy to help develop the design to prototype stage, assistance with legal matters and IP registration, some marketing and publicity, as well as Premier Farnell’s help in securing investment funding. The Group will actively market the end product to millions of customers globally through their leading edge website, catalog and direct marketing.

In addition, up to 3 entrants for the full-time student category and 3 entrants for the general/open category will be eligible for ‘honorable mentions’, each receiving a cash prize of $5,000.

A prestigious and influential panel of judges from around the world will be announced in June 2008. It will feature a mix of innovators, engineers, entrepreneurs, academics, industry leaders and environmental campaigners; it will be chaired by Sir Peter Gershon, who chaired last year’s event, and he will be joined by John Noble, last year’s winner from Malaysia who is enjoying Premier Farnell’s support currently to take his unique energy- saving product to market.

Reflecting the environmentally-friendly theme of the competition, Live EDGE will be largely web-based to avoid international travel and transportation. For example, the judges will confer online and it will be possible to view the award ceremony from the competition website.

“The Earth is facing environmental threats on an unprecedented scale and by unleashing the creativity that exists within the electronics industry, we can make a positive difference to these global challenges,” said Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell, plc. “Our first Live EDGE had over 3,500 registrants from over 102 countries last year, providing electronics design engineers the opportunity to have a true impact on our future and see their vision become a reality. We have listened to the feedback from last year’s entrants and believe this year’s challenge will be even better, particularly by embracing the enormous role that universities and today’s students will play in our future. Live EDGE has truly become a unique design challenge for the world, as we see our future in the designs of our electronic design engineers.”

About Premier Farnell
Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) is a leading high service, multi-channel distributor of electronic, maintenance, repair and operation products and specialist services throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. While global in scope, Premier Farnell recognizes the individual needs of each market and has continued to internationalize its model accordingly, trading locally under different brand names. Its primary electronics businesses trade as Farnell in the UK, Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand, Newark in the US, Canada and Mexico, and Premier Electronics in Greater China. In Singapore, Malaysia, and Brazil the operation is known as Farnell Newark.

About Newark
Newark, part of the global Premier Farnell Group, and a leading multi-channel, high-service electronics distributor supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals across the Americas, is known for offering the broadest selection of components and test equipment from 440+ top manufacturers. To meet its customers’ diverse needs, Newark stocks everything from the latest design technologies to popular replacement parts, and continually expands its supplier portfolio to offer a true one-stop shopping experience. With multiple sales channels, customers do business with Newark through contact centers, a local branch network in the US, Canada, and Mexico, a dedicated field sales force, and a world-class website.