Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

Now Open: Women In Innovation Awards 2020/21

The Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21 is now open. See how you can get your hands on an exciting innovation grant worth £50,000.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

Make your innovative ideas a reality

Innovate UK has now unveiled its latest round of the Women in Innovation Awards. These awards are about seeking out and supporting the UK’s most talented female innovators in scaling up their businesses, sharpening their skills and bringing their innovative ideas to life. Not only will this open doors for the individuals themselves, but deliver economic growth in the longer term. 

What is the maximum award claimable?

It’s a generous award, with 10 grants of £50,000 each on offer.

Funds will be paid in three instalments:

  • 50% (£25,000) upfront (April 2021)
  • 40% (£20,000) at the mid-point (October 2021)
  • 10% (£5,000) on receipt of a completed statement of expenditure once a project is complete

In addition to the grant funding, successful applicants can also access various coaching, mentoring, and business support opportunities that match their specific requirements. They can also benefit from relevant equipment and facilities where necessary.

Projects must start on 1st April 2021 and be of 12 months’ duration.

Get your application in soon!

The closing date is 11am on the 14th October 2020.


Innovate UK is the country’s main innovation agency and is the body that administers these awards each year. It works with a range of UK companies, partner organisations and individuals to remove some of the risks in innovation, to break down barriers and boost wider economic growth.

The Women in Innovation Awards were launched in 2016, after research showed only around 1 in 7 applications for Innovate UK support came from women.

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). In turn, UKRI is funded by the UK government via the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Innovate UK believes that by supporting female entrepreneurs in this way, as much as £180 billion could be injected back into the British economy, and it’s a popular competition.

What are the objectives of the Women in Innovation Awards?

The Women in Innovation Awards are not just about cash and support, but also about inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs. They’re aimed at female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers who work in UK companies that have been up and running for at least 12 months. Essentially, applicants who can demonstrate that their innovation will make substantial progress in addressing prominent economic, social and/or environmental issues will most likely achieve the support.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for an award, applicants must:

  • Identify as female
  • Be a founder, co-founder or other senior member of management who makes high level decisions within a UK registered small business that has been operational for a year
  • Be available for an online interview during the week beginning 7th December 2020, plus two boot-camps over one and a half days. These will be held during the week beginning 18th April 2021 and in November 2021.

Which projects will not make the grade?

Innovate UK has said it won’t fund any projects that:

  • Are based outside of the UK
  • Do not meet the rules of the competition
  • Involve purchasing within the road freight transport sector. For any other activity involving hire or reward in the road freight transport sector, an aid limit of €100,000 spread across three fiscal years is applied
  • Are not planning to utilise the full support package offered
  • Impact negatively on equality, inclusion, the environment, diversity or society generally
  • Lack any innovative research and development activities
  • Involve imports or exports
  • Involve primary production in agriculture
  • Involve primary production in fishery and aquaculture.

Identify, explain, evidence

As mentioned, it’s essential that in order to have the best chance of success proposals must clearly identify, explain and evidence how their innovation will tackle key societal, environmental and/or economic issues. As long as the company and the innovation is commercially viable it doesn’t matter what sector it’s in. Many examples of industries in the past that have benefitted include the arts, media, creative industries, engineering, retail, sciences and design.

Innovate UK is looking to support women who have reached a pivotal stage with their business, and who wish to push their innovation forward to the next level. Applicants should clearly highlight the difference the funding will make to their innovation plans, and how it will more widely benefit their innovation area or business sector.

Submitting an application

The competition opened on the 1st September 2020. It will close at 11am on the 14th October 2020.

We strongly advise applicants to closely read the supporting information for applicants so that they understand the requirements before they make a start.

Achieve the innovation funding you need with Myriad Associates

Making the very best, most effective application for this type of funding isn’t always easy. Many people therefore look for outside expert services instead of simply going it alone - and this is where we come in.

At Myriad Associates our specialist skills and knowledge around applying for R&D grants are second to none. Not only will we work hard in understanding your company’s goals and objectives, as well as those of your projects, we’ll also help you the craft an award-winning application that gets you the funding you need. We can then help you to submit your application online.

Our team is made up of a highly experienced mix of R&D specialists, advisors and accountants who can assist you not only with this particular competition but in accessing others as well. Just imagine what you could achieve with the right funding and practical support.

If you would like to learn more about R&D innovation grants then it’s well worth having a look at our R&D grants page, as well as on our Innovate UK page. Then when the time is right, why not discuss your plans with us and kick off your application by calling 0207 118 6045. Alternatively, please feel free to use our contact page so we can return your call.

And don’t forget, once your innovative project is up and running you may well be able to claim back some of the costs via R&D Tax Credits too.

Maximise your opportunity - and good luck!

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