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Innovate UK

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Innovate UK

Who are Innovate UK?

Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency

We work with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy.

Since 2007 we have committed over £1.8 billion to innovation, matched by a similar amount in partner and business funding. We have helped more than 7,600 organisations with projects estimated to add more than £11.5 billion to the UK economy and create 55,000 extra new jobs.

What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women's recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are Innovate UK involved in?

Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency. infocus is the brand for Innovate UK’s work on diversity and inclusion. A good idea for innovation can come from anyone and diversity is proven to contribute to business success.

Our approach is to shine a spotlight where there is currently under representation in business innovation and a significant opportunity to boost the economy in addressing this. We take action where we believe this will make a positive difference.

Our first infocus action was Women in Innovation. The opportunity to boost the UK economy by getting more women innovating in UK businesses is clear. Our research highlighted that only 1 in 7 lead applicants to Innovate UK were women and we wanted to address this.

We launched a campaign and awards programme in June 2016 to get more women with excellent ideas innovating in UK businesses. We were looking for potential and to find leaders of the future. We received a fantastic response to the awards – over 1700 registrations of interest and 442 final applications. The overall quality of applications was excellent and we selected 34 women to receive an award. All 34 award holders have been matched with a senior business mentor and are being provided with a tailored package of business support and connections. 15 of the women are also receiving a £50k grant. The awards run for 1 year from Jan 2017. We are also working to support the wider Women in Innovation community working with partners across the UK.

Why did Innovate UK join WISE?

Innovate UK is joining WISE so we can work in partnership to gain further impact from our infocus Women in Innovation campaign and awards and engage a wider community. WISE is a natural partner for Innovate UK on this infocus action.

Emily Nott, Lead for Diversity and Inclusion Programmes, Innovate UK

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