The UK’s brightest minds are being challenged to come up with new designs and solutions to aid independent living among people with disabilities.
Charity and government advisory body, Design Council, is this year putting a new focus on driving home innovation.
Its new Home Innovation Challenge aims to deliver major impact both financially and socially.
It claims that in the UK there are 14 million people living with a disability, and 25% of the population are due to be over the age of 65 by 2046.
Design Council Spark aims to showcase how innovative design is fundamental to futureproofing people’s ability to live independently and enabling bright ideas to transform the future home for everyone.
Disabled people along with their carers and families wield a global spending power of £6 trillion, it is thought.
Design Council Spark aims to support ground breaking, commercially viable ideas which can support economic growth in the UK.
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.
Sarah Weir OBE, chief executive of Design Council (pictured): “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.
“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
· Answering the door
Innovators can apply here.