Innovate UK: Women in Innovation Awards 2018

3rd August 2018

UK business women can apply for one of 8 Women in Innovation Awards: £50,000 funding each and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is looking for women who are rising stars in business innovation. Applicants must be confident, with the support of an award, that they can make a significant contribution to one of the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges:

  1. Artificial intelligence and data.
  2. Ageing society.
  3. Clean growth.
  4. Future of mobility.

Innovate UK are offering eight Women in Innovation Awards. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support. The aim of this competition is to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others.

The competition is split into two phases. In phase one,  the written application will be assessed by independent experts. In phase two, the shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of experts. The awards are for female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in companies that have been operating for at least one year.

Each award will provide £50,000 of funding. Awards must start by 1 April 2019 and will last for one year.

To be eligible for an award you must be:

  • a female founder, co-founder or senior decision maker within a UK based business
  • working in a business that has been operating for at least one year
  • working in an area that aligns with one of the 4 Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges: artificial intelligence and data, ageing society, clean growth, or the future of mobility
  • intending to exploit the results of the funded activities from or in the UK
  • able to receive funding under de minimis state aid regulations (page 20)
  • legally and contractually able to use the funding
  • available to attend an interview panel on 11 or 12 December 2018 (the exact date and time will be confirmed)
  • willing to work as a role model for up to 5 days over the duration of the award

You can only make one application for yourself. More than one woman working within the same organisation can apply. The awards are for individuals but this does not prevent you from working with others.

If you applied to a previous competition as the lead or sole company and were awarded funding by Innovate UK, but did not make a substantial effort to exploit that award, Innovate UK will award no more funding to you, in this or any other competition. You will not be able to contest the decision. Innovate UK will:

  • assess your efforts in the previous competition against your exploitation plan for that project
  • review the monitoring officers’ reports and any other relevant sources for evidence
  • document their decision, which will be made by three team members
  • communicate their decision to you in writing

£400,000 has been allocated for eight awards at £50,000 each. Innovate UK will also provide a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

The funding will be paid in 3 increments.

In addition to the grant funding, all award holders will receive a package of support tailored to their needs. The expert advice available includes:

  • funding and finance options and how to access these, including introductions to investors and training on pitching
  • media and communications, such as branding
  • intellectual property
  • developing new business models
  • evaluating market opportunities
  • finding new partners
  • business growth and scale up
  • developing international collaborations and accessing global markets
  • business planning strategy

Access to relevant world-leading facilities and equipment will be also be provided where this is appropriate.

For more information, please visit the website.

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