Monday 29 August 2011

Open Innovation Seeks a Better Way to Live with Dementia

The Design Council, a UK non-profit organisation, in partnership with the Department of Health have launched a campaign to re-examine the way people live with dementia. The competition was opened on 15th August 2011, challenging entrants to help those who suffer with dementia and their carers live better lives, with the winning design securing a cash prize and an opportunity to see the idea come to life.

One in three people who live to 65 years will suffer from some sort of dementia. The impact this has on the lives of sufferers and their families who have to care for them can be world shattering. Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the Design Council's open innovation challenge.  Entrants are called to form a team made up of individuals with design expertise and skills, and submit their proposal by way of a PDF document. Since this is an open innovation challenge entrants are being sought from as a wide a range of participants as possible however the leading project partner must be from a UK registered business. All proposals must be submitted before 5pm GMT on 30th September 2011.
This is an exciting opportunity for designers, businesses, communities to work on a project that will make such a difference to people’s lives. We can see the stats around the issue but the reality of it is that dementia is something that will and does affect every family in Britain. Previous challenges have shown the impact design plays in addressing difficult social and health issues and I think teams will once again drive the innovation curve. - David Kester, CEO of the Design Council
Once registered, entrants will be offered support through the council's blog. Such help would include information on living with dementia as well as finding project partners. Regular updates are provided through the council's design challenge Twitter feed under its #dementia hashtag, and the council has scheduled a series of drop in days with the latest ones being held on 6th September and 8th Septembers 2011. 

Living well with Dementia from Design Council on Vimeo.

Submissions will be sifted and teams will be selected for funding to prepare a pitch, with help from an advisory board made up of designers, healthcare experts, carer organisations and social innovators. A series of interviews with full pitches of the designs will be carried out after which winners will be selected. A total cash prize of £360,000 will be shared amongst the winning pitches together with professional support to create a prototype of the designs aimed to be showcased around March 2012. 

If you are interested in taking part then visit the Design Council's design challenge page and download the full brief. 

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