Three finalists have been awarded a share of £150k from the first round of our product innovation fund, Design Council Spark. Find out more about our awardees and their brilliant ideas.  

The three Spark awardees are:

Pop Umbrella by Ayca Dundar 

A retake on the traditional umbrella design by being flexible and less likely to break. 

Ding, by Avril O'Neil and John Nussey

A doorbell connected to your phone informing you of when visitors are waiting at the door.

Saddle 2.0, by Trace Ward at Ergon Equine

The first new Saddle design in 2000 years which boasts greater muscular-skeletal comfort for the horse.

To mark the occasion Design Council hosted a Spark showcase on 24 September at Somerset House as part of London Design Festival, where each awardee received a further award of £50k to support their progress to market.

The three awardees were selected from an original group of three hundred and fifty applicants, of which thirty were shortlisted and invited to a weekend workshop to gain guidance from a selection of experts. Eight finalists were offered places on the fast-track twenty week programme.

Design Council is enormously proud of the finalists and awardees, each of whom has a useful, well-considered and highly commercial product that you'll undoubtedly be able to buy soon.

John Mathers, Chief Executive, Design Council

The finalists then pitched in front of an investment panel which included Design Council staff, Design Entrepreneurs, Intellectual Property and Investment experts, leading to the final three awards.

Presenting the award and featured speakers at the launch included Design Council Chief Executive, John Mathers, and the 2012 London Design Festival ‘Design Entrepreneur’ award winner, Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, inventor of Sugru, a moldable glue that turns into rubber, along with a selection of Spark finalists.

Spark winners and the Design Council team

Design Council Spark winners with Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, Inventor of Sugru, John Mathers, Chief Executive of Design Council and the Design Council Spark team.

John Mathers, Design Council Chief Executive said: “This has been a phenomenal pilot programme, successful for all involved. Design Council is enormously proud of the finalists and awardees, each of whom has a useful, well-considered and highly commercial product that you'll undoubtedly be able to buy soon. This is a huge achievement and a mark of quality which epitomises the high standards of British design. Everybody has worked incredibly hard and the Spark team is excited to open the second call for applications.”

Other inventions in development from finalists range from a composting tool, to desktop factory equipment, an illuminating prayer mat, a passenger comfort product to reduce ear-pain during flight, and an easy to use hook and loop zip. 

Following on from this success, we have launched a call for entries for the second round of Design Council Spark. To qualify you much be a UK resident aged over eighteen years old, and no previous design experience is required. Your idea must be a physical, non-technological product at prototype stage. Apply now. 

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Design Council Spark

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News & opinion

Spark: overheard in 50 words Marion Gillet shares a few interesting insights she's overheard and jotted down over the course of Spark. Marion Gillet shares a few interesting insights she's overheard over the course of Spark.

Feature — 21/08/2015