NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow, Debbie Wake, is one of nine pioneering female inventors recognised as part of Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation competition.
The Awards, announced on International Women’s Day by Business Secretary Greg Clark, follows a search for female innovators who are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing society as set out in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.
Debbie has been recognised for her work in developing My Diabetes My Way, a digital health app enabling diabetes patients to monitor their condition and receive advice for treatments ‘on the go’. She will receive £50,000 and a year-long package of bespoke support, coaching and mentoring.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said:
“I would like to congratulate all these women on developing inspiring and pioneering innovations to tackle the grand challenges we face as a society, from a new waterproof coating to cut down single use plastic, to helping us train mechanics with simulators.
“This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, backing the innovators and businesses of all sizes across the UK to grow – and develop the products, industries and sectors of tomorrow, boosting the UK economy with the skills and inventions we will need for the next generation.”
Marking the outstanding contributions to innovation, Innovate UK has commissioned and installed commemorative plaques recognising each of the award holders where their innovation journey began, to inspire young innovators and communities alike.
Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell said:
“Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards address a key barrier for diversity in innovation – a lack of female role models. By recognising their achievement with purple plaques, we are making sure that our nine newly crowned winners inspire the next generation of female innovators.
“Whether it’s inspiring young students showing a passion for STEM, someone with the spark of an idea, or an innovative business ready to be taken to the next level, the Women in Innovation 2019 campaign aims to drive long term, far reaching positive change.”
Supporting female innovators is a key commitment of Innovate UK, and registrations for funding from female innovators on existing competitions have increased by 70% since 2016.
Previous winners have gone on to become ambassadors for Prince’s Trust and develop breakthrough innovations. These include Carmen Hijosa, who has created a sustainable alternative to leather using pineapple leaf fibre; Elena Dieckmann, whose company produces novel products – such as thermal packaging – using surplus feathers from the poultry industry; and Fanzi Down, who has developed a revolutionary chocolate moulding technique by industrialising the process of displacement.
For more information visit innovateuk.ukri.org