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Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2023 launches

1 November 2022

The fifth Leicestershire Innovation Festival will take place in the new year – with organisers placing the spotlight on small business.

The Business Gateway is again leading preparations for the festival – themed on productivity – as 20 events are staged between 6 and 17 February.

Productivity and innovation are central to plans for growth in the UK economy. As 89% of businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire have fewer than 10 employees, small businesses have a key role to play.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL, Chair of the LLEP Innovation Board, said: “The festival will showcase ideas that increase productivity and quality in small, mid-sized, and large organisations.

“People often think of Innovation as being about inventing things. But we also want to hear the stories of entrepreneurs who are making ‘new to business’ changes that can be made by anyone.”

This year’s festival was the biggest to date, with almost 1,000 registrations across 24 events. Organisers aim to build on that in order to grow next year’s fortnight-long festival.

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) was recently nominated for Outstanding Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards and is a sponsor of the 2023 festival.

Helen Donnellan, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Regional Business and Innovation, and LLEP Innovation Board member, said: “Workplace innovation isn’t necessarily about specific teams working on future projects.

“Rather, the biggest business impact can come from simply questioning how things could be done better.

“This could be anything from how your business creates its products, to processes for how you operate or how you engage with customers.”

Meanwhile, the fifth LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards continues to be the festival’s flagship event – and nominations are open now.

Businesses and organisations of all sizes can be nominated across 10 regional sector-based categories.

Adam Moss, Editor of LeicestershireLive, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the standard of the nominations we receive, as they really do showcase what Leicestershire’s best and brightest minds have to offer.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing this year’s entries come in and know for a fact that our judges will have some very tough choices when they decide our winners for this year.”

The Innovation Awards take place on February 16 at the National Space Centre.


Additional Information 

Leicestershire Innovation Festival (LIF)

LIF is an annual celebration of ideas and improvements in businesses and organisations of all sizes operating in Leicester and Leicestershire. It was founded by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) Business Gateway Growth Hub in 2018. The 2023 event runs from February 6 to 17 and features a schedule of more than 20 events, including a launch day, University of Leicester’s monthly Innovation Friday, and the fifth LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards.


LLEP Innovation Board

The Innovation Board was formed following the LLEP’s successful completion of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Regional Enterprise Accelerator Program (MIT REAP). Its purpose is to create a long-term innovation strategy for Leicestershire. Chaired by Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL, it brings together leaders from across business, higher education, and regional Government to encourage use of innovation as a means of increasing prosperity and productivity of businesses, workforce, and communities.


LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards

The LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards was founded in 2019 and is an annual showcase of the best ideas, R&D, and business development in Leicester and Leicestershire. The event, which has previously recognised dozens of small businesses, non-profits, university spinouts and large corporates, is one of the most anticipated on the regional business calendar. It takes place each February.