News / The Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21 Are Now Open

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering 10 Women in Innovation Awards to female entrepreneurs across the UK. The winners will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

  • Competition opens: Tuesday 1 September 2020
  • Competition closes: Wednesday 14 October 2020 11:00am

The aim of this competition is to find women with exciting, innovative ideas and ambitious plans that will inspire others. The awards are for female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers working in businesses that have been operating for at least one year.

Applicants must be confident, with the support of an award, that they can make a significant contribution to a pressing societal, environmental and/or economic challenge through their innovative project.

The competition is split into 2 phases. In phase 1 the written application will be assessed by independent experts. In phase 2 the shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel of experts.

Each award will provide £50,000 of funding. Projects must start by 1 April 2021 and will last for one year.

To find out more about the eligibility criteria click here

The aim of this competition is to fund and support a diverse portfolio of Women in Innovation Award winners:

  • from regions across the UK
  • who are solving a range of pressing societal, environmental and economic challenges
  • in a variety of innovation areas

Your proposal must identify clearly evidenced pressing societal, environmental and/or economic challenge(s), and how your project and innovation can help solve them.

Applications can come from any area of innovation (where innovation is defined as the commercially successful exploitation of ideas) and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively:

  • the arts, design and media
  • creative industries
  • science or engineering

Whilst we welcome projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas this is not a requirement.

It is planned that 10 awards will be offered for women who are at a critical stage with their business, where an award will enable them to take an important step forward. The funding should help them make a real difference to innovation in the UK including in and beyond their sector or innovation area.

You should be someone who will be an inspiration to others.

Applicants should be able to clearly explain how they will benefit from the full package of funding and support on offer and who can describe how this will add value to them and their business.

Applications are particularly being encouraged from women who:

  • have the potential, capability, experience and personal drive to become leaders in business innovation
  • want to be a role model for others, including in your region, sector and to young people
  • have a clear vision for their business
  • are looking to develop a game changing novel idea or business innovation
  • know what they are hoping to achieve from the award and how to measure success

Projects that will not be funded include those that:

  • do not intend to use the full package of support on offer
  • have a negative impact on the environment or society
  • have a detrimental effect on equality, diversity and inclusion
  • do not involve any research and development or innovation, for example, the creation of information-only websites
  • do not meet the competition eligibility or scope
  • involve exports or imports
  • involve purchasing within road freight transport sector
  • involve primary production in fishery and aquaculture
  • involve primary production in agriculture
  • are not allowed under de minimis regulation restrictions

For further information about the awards, how to apply and key dates click here

The Women in Innovation Awards 2020/21 Are Now Open