What to expect from Leicestershire's Innovation Week

It takes place June 21-26.

Leicestershire's Innovation Week takes place this June and features a packed programme of events looking at all aspects of innovation, big and small.


The programme for Innovation Week 2021 – which runs from June 21-26 – includes a high-profile launch event at Space Park Leicester, organised by the University of Leicester and the LLEP.


As part of the programme, Leicestershire Innovation Showcase – Shaping our Future, is one event showcasing the amazing innovative companies in Leicestershire.


There will be keynote speeches from Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Dr Luke Evans MP and Professor Fiona Murray CBE, from the MIT Sloan School of Business.


Attendees of the virtual event will hear first-hand from leading business leaders about their innovation journeys, as well as a Q&A from an expert panel. It will take place online on June 23.


Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, Chairman of Morningside Pharmaceuticals and Chair of the Leicester Innovation Board explains: “Innovation is about thinking differently, developing ideas and identifying new opportunities, which often fulfil a gap in the market and in individual businesses.


“The Leicester Innovation Board was established this year to bring together leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as academia. Its aim is to create a long term Innovation Strategy for Leicestershire, which builds collaborations, growth and opportunities and safeguards the future prosperity and productivity of our businesses, workforce and communities.


“Innovation takes many forms, but often it’s as simple as making day to day changes within an organisation to improve efficiency, productivity and performance. Building an ‘ideas culture’ within an organisation is also key, so every person has a role to play.


“Innovation alongside continuous improvement is something that every business, no matter how small, needs to embrace as a core part of its operations, in order to be competitive and continue to grow.”


Dr Kotecha will be joined at the launch event by Space Park’s Prof Martin Barstow, astronaut Susie Imber, and Innovate UK’s Dean Cook showcasing the opportunities created by this innovative project, for businesses across Leicester.


Other highlights of the week include a focus on innovations in the way we travel, featuring HORIBA MIRA’s Head of Horizon Scanning, Anthony Baxendale.


The event explores the connections between hydrogen vehicles, cybersecurity, the issues around electric cars and how these emerging questions affect the skills agenda.

Solvers Studio will be leading one of their Service Jam sessions over 25-26 June to explore ‘redesigning the High Street’ and welcome input from retailers, residents, community leaders, councils and anyone interested in the future of this valuable space. This is the only ‘in person’ event as all other events will be held online.


Other events focus on business start-ups, the role of women leaders in innovation, small business and innovation, the creative sector, food and drink, fashion and textiles and diagnostics in the health sector.


Jon Egley, Manager of the Business Gateway, added: “It’s really important to say that innovation is not just for larger, well-resourced companies.


"It is just as relevant to the sole trader or micro business. Innovation has to be part of your business DNA from now on, if you’re going to survive and thrive in the future.


"There will be a lot of practical advice to take away from Innovation Week, guaranteed.”


From space to self-driving vehicles; food and drink, life sciences, music, the future of the high street, women, young people and their unique approach to innovation, Leicestershire's Innovation Week looks set to inspire.