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Back for another year, the LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards 2022 are here

Following the huge success of the Innovation Awards last month, LeicestershireLive is launching its fourth event dedicated to its local pioneers: the LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards 2022.

Celebrating the very best in technology services, digital advances and creative thinking that the region has to offer, these awards will honour those who are leading the way and shaping our world.

After the special ceremony at the National Space Centre in September, there’s no doubt that Leicestershire truly is a hub of innovation and a hotbed of creativity.

Former Gadget Show presenter, TV personality and author Jason Bradbury kept the evening running smoothly as coveted awards went to the genius who helped capture moon-landing images, a specialist air quality company, military-tested earbuds and many more inspiring innovations.

The 2022 awards will take place on Thursday, February 24, 2022, and with innovation the key to the pandemic, there’s no doubt that hundreds of other life-changing inventions are ready and waiting to be recognised and promoted to all.

LeicestershireLive has curated a list of categories which span across many sectors, including technology, design, education, manufacturing and more, to ensure the finest of talent is rewarded.

To be in with a chance of winning one of the 11 prestigious awards, click here. Nominations close on Monday, 3 January.

Headline sponsoring the awards once again is Morningside Pharmaceuticals, De Montfort University and the University of Leicester. All three of these organisation are pioneering powerhouses; producing life-saving medicines, creating a hub of innovation growth and development, and undertaking out-of-this-world research.

Attending the event in September, University of Leicester President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nishan Chanagarajah said: “The ideas and creativity displayed by the finalists of the Innovation Awards are truly inspiring and I hope that these awards will encourage more businesses and innovators to follow in their footsteps.”

With 2022 creeping closer, you don’t want to miss out on your chance to see yours or your company’s hard work recognised. Take a look at the categories and criteria below and enter today.

Innovation in Technology

Sponsored by De Montfort University

In this category we are looking for the very best tech ideas that have come out of the greatest minds Leicestershire has to offer – the ideas that, over the coming years, will help shape the world in which we work, live and play.

Leicester and Leicestershire have a fantastic and growing reputation for hi-tech research and development, and for manufacturing – from designing the latest supercars, superbikes and electric racing cars to making energy efficient fuel cells, satellite parts and aerial mapping techniques as well as state-of-the-art production lines. Innovation is the backbone of progress, and by extension supports the businesses that make the UK economy what it is.

This category aims to celebrate the pioneers of new technology that throw out the old and bring in the new with extraordinary results in their sector. The judges will be looking for evidence of how innovation has had a transformative effect.

Innovation in Creative Industries

This category celebrates our city and county’s strong reputation for design and creativity ranging from small, independent design studios to furniture and kitchen designers, architects and leading fashion designers. There are businesses and teams out there working on fixing the problems affecting city centres and high streets, ensuring sustainability in fashion and textiles, and creating homes and offices that fit in with the UK’s green agenda.

During the pandemic other companies have thrived on turning real events into online events, and using production skills to promote their clients. We want to hear from the best of the best.

Digital Innovation of the Year

We live in an age where we take for granted life-changing technology that fits snuggly into our coat pockets, the dashboards of cars and around our wrists. The Digital Innovation of the Year commends top digital projects that have been conceived or developed within our city and county.

They can be anything from apps that help us to check which city centre restaurants to eat in, do our banking or download the latest Ariana Grande single. Cloud technology means we can sync our emails with our diaries or share documents for colleagues. We have watches that not only tell us how many calories we have used up but can turn the heating on at home or show you who is at your front door in Hinckley when you’re sitting at your office desk in Loughborough.

New products seem to be dropping on to the market each day and we will celebrate them with this award.

Innovation in Health and Wellbeing

Wellbeing has been one of the buzzwords to come out of the pandemic as bosses worked to ensure workers were able to cope with the pressures of lockdown, working, furlough and childcare during one of the toughest times in recent years. We want to hear from businesses that have been innovative in caring for their workforce.

We also want to hear from companies that have been developing systems, products and services to keep the nation fit, healthy and active. It can range from work being done to help children at school with their exercise regimes, to supporting the elderly and infirm.

Man and woman collecting award on stage
EarthSense won Innovator of the Year 2021

Innovation in Food and Drink Manufacturing

Food and drink is one of the biggest employers in Leicestershire – from companies that make beer and pies, to sandwich makers, pork pie and stilton manufacturers and businesses putting together thousands of ready-to-make food boxes for families on the go. Who are the ones that have brought in new technology and innovation to prosper. Likewise, who are the ones being innovative in the products that they make. It doesn’t have to be the big employers – we want to hear from independents who are being clever and creative in the way they work.

Innovation in Manufacturing and Engineering

Manufacturing and Engineering remains the lifeblood of the region, but it’s a world away from the smokestacks of old. We’ll find the businesses that have used digital innovation to bring new products to market and reinvent Leicestershire as a global hotspot of advanced manufacturing and engineering.

That might be the businesses that have developed new production processes to keep them ahead of the competition – Leicestershire’s rich community of food and drinks manufacturers spring to mind. Or it could be the engineers coming up with new electronic technology that is already helping vehicles communicate with roadside transmitters to help keep traffic moving and, more importantly, keep passengers and pedestrians safe.

Then there are the parts manufacturers on the county’s many industrial estates, coming up with tech that helps keep passenger jets airborne, and the steel fabricators who have branched out from construction into the rail, energy and maritime sectors using the latest ideas to futureproof their businesses.

Innovation in Education

Technology is now part and parcel of modern schooling and training. We want to hear from educationalists and companies that have come up with something exciting and new that helps prepare our young people for work. With the rapid pace of technological development and it’s affect on the future world of employment, coupled with the skills gap in so many sectors, this is seen as an incredibly important category for our awards.

Innovation in Med Tech and Life Sciences

Sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals

Leicestershire has a growing reputation for med tech and life sciences, much of it coming from spin-off companies connected to the three universities. We have companies working on new medicines and tech that can help disabled people in their homes, companies that have designed wheelchairs and tech used in operating theatres and hospitals. We are looking for innovators that have not just been big players in the local and regional scene, but which have made a national and international impact.

Innovation in Business Improvements

We want to hear from companies that have used technology and innovation to help their bottom line grow in recent months and help ensure their staff do the very best for their business. Companies and workforces of all sizes had to adapt overnight when the pandemic hit. We want to hear from those that met the challenge head on and created new ways of working that will help them going forward.

And it’s not just about Covid-19. We also want to find out about companies that have innovated in their operations regardless of the pandemic. We also want to hear about agencies, consultancies and outsourcing forms that are using innovation to come up with ways to help their clients thrive and prosper.

Innovation in Space

Thanks to decades of research and development at the University of Leicester, the city is seen as a hotbed of space innovation. So much so, that £100m has been invested in Space Park Leicester – a mix of academic and industrial facilities, which in the next decade will make the city a European hub for the production of inexpensive satellites to monitor the world in which we live. There are dozens of small, medium and large companies out there working on aerospace technology and its multiple applications.

Our judges want to hear from any companies who are using space data and technology to carry out their work. They want to hear from companies exploiting GPS and satellite data to analyse changes in the world around us, and businesses that are using satellite data to sell services to improve the lives of the man and woman in the street.

University Student Innovation

Leicester and Leicestershire have been attracting the very best young people to study at its three universities for decades. We want to hear from individuals and groups with the next award-winning ideas.

The Lifetime Achievement Award and Innovator of the Year are closed categories and will be chosen by our esteemed judging panel.

  • Click here to enter online today. The deadline for entries is January 3, 2022.
  • The LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards 2022 will take place on Thursday, February 24, 2022. For more information, visit the website.

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