Entries open for Design Council’s Spark programme

Up to 15 UK-based designers will tackle briefs including health, wellbeing, and transport and gain access to specialist expertise and one-to-one mentoring, plus an initial grant of £15,000 for product development.

Growth image
Growth, a finalist from Spark 2016

The Design Council has opened entries for Spark 2017, its support programme and fund which helps designers turn their ideas into commercially successful products.

Now in its third year, the 16-week programme provides places for up to 15 UK-based designers or inventors. Those selected to take part in the programme will receive specialist expertise and one-to-one mentoring, as well as a £15,000 grant.

While previous products have included a device which stops nosebleeds and a smart doorbell, this year the Design Council says it will be focusing on nurturing projects from seven sectors, including health and wellbeing and energy and the environment.

Home life, transportation and sports and leisure

Other key areas of focus are home life, transportation, sports and leisure and something remarkable, “for those bright ideas that don’t fit in a specific category”, according to the Design Council.

After completing the programme, finalists will go on to join the Spark alumni community and will be able to pitch for a further share of £200,000.

Spark will also partner with Arthritis Research UK for the second year in a row, and is seeking to develop product ideas which support the charity’s work to tackle the pain, isolation and fatigue that can be caused by arthritis.

Arthritis Research UK

One finalist will be awarded up to £50,000 of the £200,000 funding available if their product fits the criteria.

In exchange for the support, participants are required to give a small percentage of their product’s sales back to the Spark fund.

Applicants must be aged 18 or over and based in the UK. The deadline for applications is 10 January 2017. For more information, head here.

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