9 women innovators get government backing for inventions with global potential

8 Mar 2019 02:00 PM

Pioneering female inventors have been awarded funding and business support to develop and grow their business

Pioneering female inventors have been recognised today for innovations including responsive wheelchair seating and a new digital app for diabetes as part of the 2019 Women in Innovation Awards.

The Awards, announced on International Women’s Day by Business Secretary Greg Clark, follows a search for female innovators who are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing society as set out in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

The winners will receive £50,000 each and a year-long package of bespoke support, coaching and mentoring.

The winners being awarded funding include:

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

I would like to congratulate all these women on developing inspiring and pioneering innovations to tackle the grand challenges we face as a society, from a new waterproof coating to cut down single use plastic, to helping us train mechanics with simulators.

This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, backing the innovators and businesses of all sizes across the UK to grow - and develop the products, industries and sectors of tomorrow, boosting the UK economy with the skills and inventions we will need for the next generation.

Marking the outstanding contributions to innovation, Innovate UK has commissioned and installed commemorative plaques recognising each of the award holders where their innovation journey began, to inspire young innovators and communities alike.

Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell said:

Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards address a key barrier for diversity in innovation - a lack of female role models. By recognising their achievement with purple plaques, we are making sure that our 9 newly crowned winners inspire the next generation of female innovators.

Whether it’s inspiring young students showing a passion for STEM, someone with the spark of an idea, or an innovative business ready to be taken to the next level, the Women in Innovation 2019 campaign aims to drive long term, far reaching positive change.

Supporting female innovators is a key commitment of Innovate UK, and registrations for funding from female innovators on existing competitions have increased by 70% since 2016.

Previous winners have gone on to become ambassadors for Prince’s Trust and develop breakthrough innovations. These include:

Notes to editors

This announcement comes on the first day of British Science Week 2019.

Research suggests that the proportion of UK women engaging in entrepreneurial activity is around half the level of men and that if participation was increased to equal levels, women-led SMEs could potentially contribute £180 billion to the UK economy by 2025.

2019 Women in Innovation Award Holders