Women in Innovation Celebration Event

Posted on: 09/03/2020

Innovate UK celebrates the continuing success of the Women in Innovation programme and announces the third phase of the competition.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Knowledge Transfer Network, on behalf of Innovate UK, hosted a celebration event on the March 5th to share the overwhelming success of the programme and of its award holders. Guests enjoyed an exclusive line-up of inspirational speakers and the chance to network with our empowering attendees.

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Launched in 2016, the Women in Innovation programme aims to get more women innovating in business. The programme kicked off with research to build an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for women innovators and a women-only competition with awards offering innovation grant funding and a tailored programme of mentoring and business support.


In 2018 Innovate UK confirmed ongoing commitment towards Women in Innovation and launched a second funding competition for awards and a new series of UK-wide events to raise awareness of opportunities, provide practical advice and inspire women to ‘build success’ in innovation.


The award holders are making a huge impact and a whole new community of women innovators with amazing ideas was discovered. The number of women leading applications to Innovate UK has increased by 70%. Innovate UK and Knowledge Transfer Network have created a booklet to celebrate women in innovation, showcasing the journeys of 30 female entrepreneurs and their experiences with the program. For more information and the online version of the booklet, click here.


Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK said: “Since Innovate UK launched the Women in Innovation programme we have increased the number of women applying for our funding by 70%. By showcasing inspiring women innovators of today and encouraging those of the future, we can unlock more talent and ideas and inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. This will unleash greater potential and help drive economic growth in the UK.”


Yesterday, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced a third phase of the Women in Innovation Awards competition, alongside a dedicated support programme, continuing its commitment to encourage female-led innovation. The 10 chosen innovators will each receive £50,000 business funding and a package of bespoke support to help grow their business and boost the UK economy. For more information, click here.


Also announced today:

  • Ongoing roll-out of purple plaques at schools across the UK ‚Äì to celebrate our award winners, engage students and leave schools with a lasting connection to innovation.
  • New partnership with Founders4Schools – to highlight the importance of women-led businesses engaging with schools to inspire future innovators and provide a platform to enable and track the impact of encounters between women innovators and schools.
  • A new wave of support for women innovators across the UK (Building Success events with regional partners plus the online provision of practical tools and expert advice sessions).
  • Annual Global Business Innovation Programmes – to showcase UK women innovators and provide them with access to international research and innovation opportunities and build peer networks across different countries.


The Women in Innovation Awards, launched ahead of International Women’s Day, begins the search for ideas from female innovators that tackle major economic and societal challenges. For more information, click here.


Learn more about the Women in Innovation Programme here.


Subscribe to the Women in Innovation newsletter here or join our online community here.

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