Innovate UK seeks female innovators

Innovate UK is searching for inspirational business women to take one of eight coveted places in its Women in Innovation Awards 2018, alongside a £50,000 grant and support package.

Since launching the inaugural Women in Innovation campaign in 2016, Innovate UK has seen a 70% increase in registrations for funding from female applicants.
Having identified a lack of role models as one of the main barriers to female applicants, Innovate UK aims to highlight the positive changes female entrepreneurs are making across the UK.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is searching for female innovators who are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing society and set out in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy: delivering artificial intelligence and a data economy, our ageing society, creating clean growth and developing the future of mobility.

The competition is open to female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in companies that have been operating for at least one year. This year, a total of eight inspirational women will be selected by a panel of experts to receive a £50,000 grant in addition to a bespoke year-long package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

Fanzi Down, Women in Innovation 2016 award winner and commercial director at DPS Designs said: “So many women – myself included – don’t self-identify as innovative, preventing them from stepping forward for transformative opportunities like this. I’d challenge any woman with a vision to apply, to discover what reaching their full potential could really mean for them.”

Ian Campbell, executive chair of Innovate UK: “We’re more determined than ever to support women who have the potential to be the UK’s next successful business innovators. These awards are about helping to close the innovation diversity gap, while at the same time bringing new ideas to tackle the big challenges set out in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.”

The Women in Innovation 2018 Awards will also be supplemented by a broader programme of business support, tailored to UK-based female innovators and including quarterly workshops to help unlock the potential of women nationwide.

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