Michael Pritchard - Round Square 1985
The inventor of a bottle designed to produce safe sterile drinking water anywhere in the world has been given an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Michael Pritchard (Round Square 1985) invented the Lifesaver drinking bottle in a bid to help end global water poverty. The Lifesaver system removes all microbiological contamination, making water safe to drink. Describing his pride at receiving an honour, he said: "I am honoured to have been awarded an MBE from Her Majesty and proud that my passion to end water poverty globally has enabled me this achievement. Lifesaver was founded to provide a means to make clean sterile drinking water. Everyone deserves safe drinking water and my dedication will continue until I can say I have achieved this." Mr Pritchard was inspired to invent the bottle after seeing the serious problems caused by the lack of safe drinking water in the wake of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the following year when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. His company, based in Colchester, Essex, was founded in 2007 and has four main products, the Lifesaver bottle, Lifesaver jerrycan and two other products, Lifesaver cube and Lifesaver M1. The firm has been chosen by the Department for International Development (DfID) to be part of the UK's Rapid Response Facility for short-notice deployment of its technology to any international disaster, and the Lifesaver bottle is standard issue for all British military personnel in Afghanistan, is Nato-recognised and used by other armed forces around the world. Born in Epsom, Surrey, in 1967, Mr Pritchard was educated at Gordonstoun School in Scotland and went on to study business administration and political science at the University of Redlands in California. At the age of 18 he competed at international level in athletics, winning a gold medal for England in the 4x100m relay. His career began in the computer industry selling Apple computers, moving through various sectors including starting a property development company followed by a risk assessment business. He invented Lifesaver in 2006 with the first products going on sale in September 2007. Mr Pritchard holds more than 100 patents covering several fields including drinking water, aerosols and oil exploration, and has appeared on the BBC's Dragons' Den, pitching another invention. Last year, the Lifesaver bottle was one of the 15 top British inventions included in the British Library's exhibition Inventing The 21st Century.