Leicester Innovation week to raise business aspirations for growth

Local business support partners are leading the way to show more businesses how they can innovate to grow during a week of free innovation events across Leicester and Leicestershire.

Leicester Innovation Week takes place 4th–8th March. It offers an exciting opportunity for businesses, universities and business support organisations to work together and showcase Leicester and Leicestershire as a hub of innovation. It’s a great example of how convening the power and enthusiasm of local partners can work to promote their shared agenda around innovation.

The week begins with the launch event at Mira Technology Institute, a brand new £9.5m, LLEP-funded facility that’s leading the way for innovation and skills development in the automotive sector. Top speakers will inform delegates about different ways that businesses can innovate.

Leicester Innovation Week presents the chance to attend daily events, meet with university experts, discover funding and innovation support and learn from the innovation journeys of some of Leicestershire’s top companies.

Themes during Innovation Week include creativity at LCB Depot, and female innovators at the ‘She Started It’ event. Topics covered include tips on how to use company data, low carbon sustainability and support to get new products to market. There will also be a tour of De Montfort University’s Cyber Security Centre and the Software Technology Research Laboratory.  The Leicester Mercury will be promoting their Innovation Award Ceremony, which takes place on Wednesday 3rd April.

Innovation Week aims to raise the aspirations of local businesses, help them identify the support available, and encourage more businesses to invest in research and development. Innovation can lead to the creation of new products and services, greater business profitability and skilled jobs to mobilise and future proof businesses.

Dr Mike Grant, CEO at Warwick Acoustics said:

“Warwick Acoustics moved to MIRA Technology Park in February 2018 as we sought to develop our unique and disruptive new category of audio system for next generation cars.  We have been delighted by the facilities and the community we have been able to access over the past year. This automotive cluster has helped us immensely in building out the team with the right skill sets and in proving our technology within the sector.”

Kevin Harris, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Chair said:

“We’re pleased to be supporting Leicester Innovation Week, as it returns for a second year. Innovation is the process by which ideas on the drawing board become reality, and is key in every sector of business. It encourages growth and profitability, as innovative businesses have a natural edge over their competitors.

“The Innovation Week events are another way of providing a helping hand. A business may have had that great, industry-changing idea, but are unaware of the levels of targeted support out there.

“At the LLEP, we support innovation by offering advice and guidance through our Growth Hub – the Business Gateway. We can help SMEs looking to get new ideas off the ground. We firmly believe that Leicester and Leicestershire is a hotbed of innovation, and that our local business community has the talent to succeed in a modern economy.

“As we draft our region’s Local industrial Strategy, innovation through research and development, Innovate UK support and new export deals are at the forefront of our thinking, as this activity will help future-proof businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire.”

Julian Bowrey, Innovate UK Regional Manager said:

“Leicester and Leicestershire is a great place to innovate. It is entrepreneurial, has ambitious businesses, large and small, and three excellent universities.

“Innovate UK, as the nation’s innovation agency, together with the LLEP and local partners is organising Leicester Innovation Week to make Leicester an even better place to create and nurture new thinking.”

Innovation Week 2019 is led by Innovate UK and delivered in partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network, Enterprise Europe Network, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), LCB Depot, Federation of Small Businesses, De Montfort University, Loughborough University and University of Leicester.

Further information and details about all the the events can be found at http://bit.ly/iWk2019

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