Innovate UK has announced that it is to run a second phase of its Women in Innovation competition.

The programme, which will launch later this year, will consist of a funding competition and support package to encourage more female-led innovation.

Alongside this, Innovate UK will start running quarterly innovation accelerator workshops to help get more women innovating in business nationwide.

It will also review its existing programmes to see how it can better promote and inspire diversity.

Today is International Women’s Day – and Innovate UK said the competition would support the government’s Industrial Strategy, seeking ideas that address the four ‘grand challenges’ it posed: AI and the data economy, clean growth, the future of mobility and our ageing society.

Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, chief executive of Innovate UK, said: "It is fantastic that more women are coming to us for innovation funding and support, but we need to go further.

"Our 2018 Women in Innovation programme is designed to help many more women achieve their business ambitions, drive UK growth and productivity, and harness the full talent pool."

The first Women in Innovation programme was launched in 2016 following research that found just one in seven applications for Innovate UK funding came from women.

The competition provided £50,000 funding each for 15 female-led businesses plus mentoring. It also ran an entrepreneurial mission to Boston for seven women in tech.

Since the programme there has been a ten per cent increase in female registrations for Innovate UK support.

Enjoy extra content and videos in the interactive digital magazine below

E-edition cover