New Design Council Spark challenge focuses on the home

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by Mark Johnson

Now in its fifth year, Design Council Spark is putting a new focus on driving home innovation with its latest competition.

The Home Innovation Challenge aims to deliver major impact both financially and socially and will focus on how to make homes more friendly and useable for those living with physical and mental challenges.

The Council said it believes the home should be a joy to live in, yet for many it can be a chore. In the UK there are 14 million people living with a disability, and 25 per cent of the population are due to be over the age of 65 by 2046. 

Design Council Spark showcases how innovative design is fundamental to future-proofing our ability to live independently and enabling bright ideas to transform the future home for everyone.

Design Council Spark 2019: The home innovation challenge

Home time: This year's DC Spark challenge is centred on the home

Disabled people along with their carers and families wield a global spending power of $8 trillion, the Council noted. Additionally, it said people aged 65 or over are estimated to increase their spending power to $15 trillion by 2020. 

Design Council Spark aims to support ground breaking, commercially viable ideas which can support economic growth in the UK.

£15,000 for each finalist to develop product

Each finalist from the 16-week programme will receive £15,000 to support the development of their product concept, as well as the chance to pitch to an investment panel for a share of up to £150,000 to fast track their product concept to market.

“We’re incredibly proud of our Spark programme”, said Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive, Design Council. “Since we started in 2014 it has helped more than 100 innovators and entrepreneurs to develop their product ideas. 

“With this year’s focus being on an issue very close to many of our hearts, it presents a great opportunity to change lives, break new ground, build businesses and grow the UK economy.”

The categories for entry cover products from everyday household tasks to transforming the experience of getting around:

·       Getting up/going to bed

·       Washing and bathing

·       Getting dressed

·       Cooking and eating

·       Working

·       Gardening

·       Cleaning

·       Answering the door

·       Sitting

·       Relaxing

The call for applications to Design Council Spark: The Home Innovation Challenge is now open. Those with innovative product ideas that will make life at home easier and better for all are encouraged to apply here.

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