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Emily, 21, fronts Design Council £300k "Big Idea" fund

Final-year Brunel University London product design student Emily Tulloh took centre stage yesterday(Thurs Nov 20) as the Design Council announced Design Council Spark, a new £300,000 innovation fund and accelerator to discover and propel UK talent in the field of new physical product innovation.

Emily, 21, was chosen to help launch the initiative, in London’s Science Museum Information Age gallery, representing young British product design after entering the Council’s “Ones To Watch” competition.

Spark seeks to energise UK product design and to develop revolutionary products that solve problems which people face in their everyday lives, building on the UK’s rich heritage as a nation of innovators and inventors.

The fund is open to submissions from anyone with a brilliant product idea who can work, and wishes to develop their product in the UK.

The move is backed by leading British designers including Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, developer of the innovative new consumer silicone glue, sugru; Duncan Fitzsimons, creator of the world’s first fold up wheel, and wind-up radio inventor Trevor Baylis.

Said Emily: “To speak alongside the cream of the country’s designers and inventors was truly inspiring but my thoughts were with four-year-old Summer Stockley from Brighton.

“Summer has the rare disability Rett Syndrome which means she can’t walk and can only get about on a custom-made tricycle. I got involved when she out-grew her first trike and designed a new one for her with charity Demand who produce one-off disability aids.

“Good design can change people’s lives for the better but too often great ideas can be left on the shelf because designers, especially young designers, lack the business skills and financial backing to get them to market. Design Council Spark is a massive step towards plugging that gap.”