By Daniel Hunter

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched this year’s Cracking Ideas competition and is inviting children across the country to use their creativity to invent a special space-themed gizmo or gadget.

12 regional finalists in different age-groups will be named Britain's youngest innovators, from which three national winners will be crowned Cracking Ideas champions for 2013.

The Cracking Ideas competition, now in its sixth successful year, is headed by Aardman’s inventive duo Wallace & Gromit and aims to engage young innovators, encourage creativity and raise awareness of intellectual property rights. It also seeks to promote respect for others’ intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Minister, Baroness Wilcox said:

“This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for young British innovators to get creative, whilst helping them to understand the importance of protecting the rights to their creations.”

Parents and teachers are asked to encourage as many four to 16 year olds as possible to participate. By taking part, children and educators will discover how patents, trade marks, copyright and design have a part to play in everyday life and how this ties in with 21st Century space-age technology.

This year’s competition requires participants to construct a special Moon Bug lunar contraption and then demonstrate how to protect their creativity using patents, trade marks, design and copyright. Material will be provided but participants can also use their own materials to make models, take photographs, draw plans and record their creation.

As well as the annual competition, children and educators can find innovative games, lesson plans with links to the UK curriculums, creative challenges and fun facts about inventing from ambassadors Wallace & Gromit at

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