Innovate UK announces £50,000 each for 15 female entrepreneurs to boost British innovation

 
Rebecca Smith
Winners of the Women in Innovation Awards 2016
Winners of the Women in Innovation Awards 2016 (Source: Innovate UK)

Government-backed Innovate UK has announced 15 female entrepreneurs who will receive £50,000 each.

The investment was for the inaugural Women in Innovation campaign, aiming to address the disproportionately low numbers of women entrepreneurs in the UK.

Innovate UK said the drive came about following analysis highlighting a disparity in the numbers of male and female applicants for funding. Only one in seven applications for its business funding had been from women.

Each woman will receive a £50,000 investment in their innovation or business as well as a tailored package of business support.

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Dr Ruth McKernan CBE and chief executive of Innovate UK said: "It is very clear that harnessing the talent of women entrepreneurs could significantly enhance UK economic growth. I am delighted that we are taking action; supporting and funding female entrepreneurs to help them succeed and inspire other women to come forward, apply for funding and turn their ideas into successful business."

The winners included the creator of an automated robotic servicing platform and an entrepreneur behind a sustainable alternative to leather that uses pineapples.

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Research from the UK Intellectual Property Office out earlier this year found that only eight per cent of inventors named on British patent applications were women, although this has doubled since the 1980s.

Chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals were the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries with the highest proportion of female inventors seeking GB patents according to analysis based on the World Intellectual Property Organisation's international patent classification.

Innovate UK has also separately awarded £25m to a series of projects to help businesses develop new manufacturing methods and materials, and boost UK productivity. It was made to 170 partners in 64 projects.

The winners

Natwilai Utoomprurkporn - Gettrik Ltd

Rebecca Sage - Interactive Scientific

Siobhan Gardiner - Herotech8

​Anne Roques - Aurora Medical Ltd

Shakardokht Jafari - Truelnvivo Ltd

Emma L Sceats - CN Bio Innovations Ltd

Lorin Gresser - Dem Dx Ltd

Christine Boyle - Senergy Innovations

Rachel Gawley - AppAttic

​Anna Hill River - Cycleway Consortium Ltd

Kym Jarvis - Viridian Consultants Ltd

Elena Dieckmann - AEROPOWDER Limited

Pauline Dawes - SOMI Trailers Ltd

Carmen Hijosa - Ananas Anam UK Limited

Fanzi Down - DPS Designs Ltd

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