British Council Architecture Design Fashion

Menu Show search

Opportunity: Design Council Spark Product Innovation Fund

 © Design Council Spark

© Design Council Spark

Last year's finalist Ayca Dundar - Pop Umbrella © Simon Bohrsmann

© Simon Bohrsmann

Last year's finalist Ayca Dundar - Pop Umbrella
Last year's finalist Shim Smilansky & Ben Redford - Mayku Desktop Factory © Simon Bohrsmann

© Simon Bohrsmann

Last year's finalist Shim Smilansky & Ben Redford - Mayku Desktop Factory

2 December 2015

Design Council Spark is a product innovation fund and bespoke support programme dedicated uncovering the UK’s next great inventions. to designed to fast-track products to market in 20 weeks. Following the success of the first round of Spark, Design Council has launched a second wave is looking for brilliant ideas at prototype stage with the opportunity to receive up to £150K to take inventions to market.

What's new this time:

This year Design Council has partnered with Arthritis Research UK and has added another strand to the product innovation fund. It offers 3 places on the 20 week programme to those who have designed products to assist those with arthritis, and one inventor will be chosen for an award of £50k to launch their product. This new strand aims to encourage inventors  to develop products that will help people with arthritis to improve their quality of life and remain independent. 

Selection process

40 product concepts will be short-listed. Each short-listed application requires that at least one person attends a preliminary two-day workshop. At the end of this workshop, 8-12 applicants are selected to join the fast-track programme as Spark Finalists.

How does Spark work?

  • Entries are submitted as online applications only.
  • The deadline for applications is midnight GMT on Monday 14 December 2015.
  • A selection of applicants will be invited to attend a attend a two-day workshop on 20-21 February 2016.
  • Following the two-day workshop, finalists will be selected to join the 20-week fast-track programme.
  • Each of the finalists will receive £15k of funding and up to three of those finalists will be funded by Arthritis UK.
  • Spark does not take equity, but finalists are asked to donate 5% of their future product revenue back into the Spark fund for future inventors to develop their products and take them to market.
  • At the end of the 20 week programme each finalist can pitch for the opportunity to be awarded either a share of £150k from the Spark research fund or £50k from Arthritis Research UK if their product invention is designed to assist those with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • All finalists will be expected to act as Spark ambassadors and participate in Spark PR and marketing activity both during and after the programme.

Applicants must be aged 18 or over, based in the UK and have a great product idea, preferably at prototype stage, to apply, however no design or invention experience is necessary.

Follow @designcouncil  #SparkInnovation



Inclusive Design