27 October 2016
by Monique Ricketts
Design Council Spark is a support programme and fund dedicated to uncovering the UK’s next great inventions, designed to help people turn their idea into a commercially successful product. Following the success of the first two rounds of Spark, Design Council has launched a third wave is looking for brilliant ideas at prototype stage.
Up to 15 UK-based inventors will be selected and offered a place on their 16-week programme providing specialist expertise and bespoke one-to-one mentoring, and will receive an initial grant of £15,000 for product development with the opportunity pitch for a share of £200,000 to take inventions to market.
This year Design Council Spark is looking for bright ideas within the following areas:
- Home Life - Products for the home that improve the way we live
- Health and Well-being - Products that help people live independently
- Energy and the Environment - Products that benefit the environment
- On the move - Products for transport that transform the way we move
- Sports and Leisure - Products that encourage an active lifestyle
- Something remarkable - For those bright ideas that don’t fit a specific category
In addition to the above categories, Arthritis Research UK, who continue to support the 2017 Spark programme, are looking for innovative product ideas to further support their work to overcome the pain, isolation and fatigue that arthritis can cause. One finalist will be awarded up to £50,000 of the £200,000 funding available.
The Application Process
- Application are submitted online only here, including product ideas at a sketch, prototype or planning stage. Please note: all applicants must be 18 years old or over and based in the UK.
- The deadline for applications is 10 January 2017
- Applications will be shortlisted and applicants will be notified if they have been selected for Design Camp.
- Shortlisted applicants will attend the Design Camp (6 & 7 March 2017), an intensive 2-day workshop where help will be given to refine and pitch your idea for a place on the Spark commercialisation programme.
- Up to 15 ideas will be selected for their 16-week support programme (commencing on 4 April 2017), where you will develop your idea and business plan through their specialist expertise and bespoke one-to-one mentoring, plus an initial grant of £15,000 for product development.
- On completion of the programme, all finalists will have a chance to pitch to the Design Council investment panel for further funding. Pitch days take place on the 25 & 26 July 2017, where up to five products will be awarded a share of £200,000.
- On completion of the programme, all finalists will join the Spark alumni community with access to and support from the Design Council’s world-class network.