Now in its third consecutive year, Design Council Spark is once again on the lookout for bright ideas to turn into brilliant products.

Entries are now open for Design Council Spark 2017, our support programme and fund designed to help people turn their idea into a commercially successful product. Up to 15 UK-based inventors will be selected and offered a place on our 16-week programme providing specialist expertise and bespoke one-to-one mentoring, plus they will receive an initial grant of £15,000 for product development. On completion of the programme, finalists will join the Spark alumni community, allowing access to the Design Council’s world-class network and the chance to pitch for a further share of £200,000.

Since 2014, Design Council Spark has supported over 70 entrepreneurs and inventors in progressing their products to market, including the Mayku Formbox, a desktop vacuum former that enables you to start a production line from your tabletop, Rhinamite, a non-invasive device that stops nose bleeds in their tracks and Ding, the smart doorbell that allows you to talk with the person at your door, wherever you are in the world.

Design Council Spark discovers some of the UK’s brilliant product ideas and provides the connections, support and funding to bring them to life.

Ellie Runcie, Design Council

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 and following the success of their 2016 partnership, Arthritis Research UK will join Design Council in supporting the 2017 programme. The charity, which invests in treatments and vital support for everyone affected by arthritis, will be 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 if their product idea has the proven potential to assist those with the condition. 

Programmes like Spark are essential to help many innovators bring their product to market and we are happy to extend our partnership for another year.

Olivia Belle, Arthritis Research UK

Ellie Runcie, our Director of Growth and Innovation said: “Design Council Spark discovers some of the UK’s brilliant product ideas and provides the connections, support and funding to bring them to life. Following the success of the programme and its participants to date, we are really looking forward to seeing what this call for entries will bring.”

Olivia Belle, director of external affairs at Arthritis Research UK said: “At Arthritis Research UK, we know that arthritis can have a huge impact on everyday life. The way a product is designed can affect daily tasks, and for some people with arthritis it can limit their independence. We believe that by harnessing the power of design we can help people with arthritis break free from the limits of their condition. That’s why we’re really pleased to be working with the Design Council once again this year. Programmes like Spark are essential to help many innovators bring their product to market and we are happy to extend our partnership for another year.”

Design Council Spark is unique in that it only deals in physical products. No equity is taken. In exchange for the support provided, participants give a small percentage of their product’s sales back to the fund to support more ideas in the future.

Successful Design Council Spark applicants benefit from those who have completed the programme in previous years, as well as enabling others to follow in their footsteps. 

All applicants must be 18 years old or over and based in the UK.

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