Design Council Spark: The Home Innovation Challenge

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Ten bright entrepreneurs from across the UK will be pitching for a share of up to £150,000 on 9 October, as they enter the final stages of Design Council’s Spark programme – a leading UK product support programme and fund. The potential funding, comes in addition to £15,000 initially awarded to each finalist to develop their original ideas to support independent living in and around the home.

Spark, now in its sixth year has seen entrepreneurs develop many products that help enrich and improve lives, whilst 2019 sees a focus on ideas for independent living that will make the home easier and better for all. Supported by Design Council’s renowned framework of innovation including the renowned ‘Double Diamond’ the 16 week Spark programme supports innovation with design expertise to deliver stronger product ideas alongside support in specialisms such as IP, marketing and business to tell their product story.

Each finalist has received £15,000 to support the development of their idea, as well as the chance to pitch to an investment panel for a share of up to £150,000 to fast-track their idea to market on 9 October 2019. The ten products represent a diverse and innovative range of ideas and heritage of original thinking and creativity in UK design.

The 10 Spark Ideas & Finalists:

  • Raised Seat Bidet – Designed by Andy Speechley, Inventor

A raised toilet seat which has been adapted so people can have a warm water bidet wash whilst seated.

  • Swift Duvet Cover – Designed by Ben King and Luke Gray, Co-founders of product design studio Koa:

An easy change duvet cover, which does not become misaligned in the way that the traditional duvet covers often do.

  • Post-Surgery Underwear – Designed by Esher N’jie, Entrepreneur

Post-surgery underwear eliminating major challenges to the healing process, decreasing post-surgery complications.

  • Skuma – Designed by Daniel Kabagema, Electrical Engineer & Alexandre Yunus Mahé, Industrial Engineer

A water purification device that enables people to purify water from virtually any source and then re-mineralise it with minerals of their choice.

  • Super Wipes – Designed by Helen Kemp, Designer

Reusable and biodegradable wipes kit and a 100% natural cleansing concentrate.

  • Smart Spoon – Designed by Hemal Dias, 3rd Year Engineering Student

An affordable self-stabilising spoon for people with hand tremors.

  • Eco Airer – Designed by Hilda Varley, Inventor

A device designed for small spaces to hang clothes to dry or store, which can be overhanging a door.

  • Bug Grip – Designed by Jennifer Lake, Entrepreneur

A universal clamp that can be used to temporarily fix two things together, giving people an extra set of ‘hands’ and encouraging independence.

  • Wheelbie – Designed by Jonathan Nwabueze, Engineer

A hybrid shopping bag that can be converted into a trolley with a gentle tap.

  • Helping Hand – Designed by Ruby Gregory, Student & Creative

A food preparation glove using smart materials to protect against cuts and burns.

Sarah Weir OBE, Design Council CEO: “We’re incredibly proud of our Spark programme. Since we started in 2014 it has helped more than 100 innovators and entrepreneurs to develop their product ideas to make life better for people. This year’s focus – on helping people live more independently in the home – is an issue very close to many of our hearts. Spark presents a great opportunity for anyone with a smart idea to change lives, break new ground, build businesses and drive innovation in the UK. We are delighted by the diverse new ideas presented and look forward to seeing how our finalists progress in the years ahead.”

The Spark 2019 product showcase will take place in London on 15 October and will be hosted by Deborah Meaden of Dragons Den where this year’s programme winners and the allocation of the £150,000 investment fund will be announced.

Nadine SandcroftComment