In May 2016, Innovate UK launched a nationwide competition to give women with potential to be leaders in innovation and successful entrepreneurs the support and funding to help them succeed. The aim of the competition was to challenge the low numbers of women entrepreneurs in the UK. The competition is part of the Innovate UK ‘infocus’ initiative to encourage diversity in innovation, and was the first women only Innovate UK competition.
The winners were announced at the National Business Awards on 15 November. Each winner receives £50,000 for their project and a tailored package of business support, along with mentoring from Innovate UK’s business leaders, who are also ambassadors for the infocus campaign.
The infocus Women in Innovation winners and their area of innovation:
- Dr Rachel Gawley of AppAttic (Belfast) – digital health
- Lorin Gresser of Dem Dx Ltd (London) – digital health
- Emma Sceats of CN Bio Innovations (Hertfordshire) – non-animal testing
- Dr Anne Roques of Aurora Medical (Southampton) - surgical tool
- Dr Shakardokht Jafari of TrueInvivo (Surrey) - medical diagnostic
- Professor Kym Jarvis of Viridian Consultants (Surrey) - nuclear energy
- Christine Boyle of Senergy Innovations (Belfast) - solar energy
- Anna Hill of River Cycleway Consortium (London) - green transport
- Pauline Dawes of SOMI Trailers (Scunthorpe) - transport logistics
- Elena Dieckmann of AEROPOWDER (London) - sustainable materials
- Dr Carmen Hijosa of Ananas Anam UK (London) - sustainable materials
- Natwilai Utoomprurkporn of Gettrik (London) - drone system
- Siobhan Gardiner of HEROTECH8 (Bedford) - drone system
- Fanzi Down of DPS Designs (Forest of Dean) - design and manufacturing
- Dr Rebecca Sage of Interactive Scientific (Bristol) - ed tech
Full competition results are available on the Innovate UK website.