Nearly 400 delegates attended Women Innovate 2022 in March. The event, which is hosted every year by Innovate UK KTN on International Women’s Day, is the highlight of Innovate UK’s annual Women in Innovation programme. It featured 50 inspiring speakers and marked the announcement of the fourth Women in Innovation cohort. The programme was launched in 2016 to celebrate, inspire and empower pioneering female entrepreneurs to develop innovations.
This year saw 385 delegates attend the show, which had a packed agenda featuring panel discussions on intersectionality in innovation, allyship, and overcoming bias. It also featuredtalks from thought leaders, innovators and the winners of the Women in Innovation Awards 2021/22, and an address from the George Freeman, UK Minister for Science, Research and Innovation.
Dr Kirsty Hewitson, Interim CEO at Innovate UK KTN, says, “It has been incredible to see the growing interesting in the Women Innovate event over the years. If women innovated and started businesses at the same rate as men, the UK economy would benefit from billions of pounds worth of additional value. What we’re seeing with the growth of the event and the programme is that the key to unlocking this estimated £250billion of extra value is support, inspiration and empowerment.
Jo Shanmugalingam, Director General Science, Innovation and Growth at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, says, “Improvements in technology and innovation are a fundamental source of productivity and economic growth. Innovation will therefore be crucial for our economic recovery from the pandemic and levelling up the UK. It is also vital for individual businesses: to be competitive, they must innovate to provide the best possible goods and services for consumers.
“However, innovation is, and must be, for everyone and I am delighted that the Women in Innovation Awards 2022 are bringing together the UK’s innovation community to rightly celebrate 38 of the most innovative women in the UK and their groundbreaking ideas. I’m delighted that these awards continue not only to support our fantastic women innovators to turn their ideas into valuable solutions to global challenges, but also to inspire the next generation of women to follow their entrepreneurial ambitions.”
Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, says, “This Women in Innovation Programme is critically important. For the UK to become a global hub of innovation by 2035, we must put work in now to harness our diverse range of untapped talent from across the country. While access to finance is one of the biggest barriers to women successfully innovating in business, we are also aware that we must increase the diversity of role models in business and innovation if we are to inspire and attract more innovators.”
To find out more or to join Innovate UK KTN’s Women in Innovation community, visit, https://ktn-uk.org/programme/women-in-innovation/.