25 Jan 2016
INNOVATION ‘VITAL’ TO CITY REGION’S GROWTH
25th Jan 2016 North West
Creating an environment where innovation can be fostered and encouraged is "fundamental" to the future growth of the region's economy, according to one of the business leaders who is supporting this year's Merseyside Innovation Awards (MIA).
Nik White, partner and head of IP at law firm Brabners, said it was important, not just in terms of the formation of new businesses, but also in relation to its ability to attract further inward investment into the city of Liverpool and surrounding areas.
He added: "Innovation is often seen as the domain of entrepreneurs and start-ups, albeit not exclusively, and it’s important that the region’s business community continues to understand and recognise the needs of these organisations.
"Start-ups have different requirements when it comes to funding, access to skills and operational support, and it’s essential that the right type of help is available."
The awards, now in their 21st year, are designed to honour Merseyside's most innovative companies.
The first award, for which there is a cash prize of £10,000, is aimed at businesses with a turnover of up to £1m or start-ups in their pre-revenue stage.
The second, a new category for 2016, is the Merseyside Innovation Prestige Award for companies with a turnover of up to £25m.
Robert Hough, chairman of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), a MIA sponsor, said: “Innovation is a key driver for growth for the city region and we are in an enviable position to have world class innovation assets on our doorstep.
"Investing in and promoting these exceptional assets is a key priority for the LEP and that is why we are proud to support the Innovation Awards again this year as they help showcase new enterprises of great promise from across the city region."
MIA founder Brian McCann, partner and director of MC Vanguard Corporate Finance, added: "Larger businesses are increasingly recognising that much of the innovation needed in their sector needs to come from smaller businesses as large company structures can make innovation harder to focus on
"Universities are potentially great sources of innovative business ideas and anything that can be done to accelerate the rate of spin out businesses is very worthwhile.
"But innovation is not just about having the idea – it is also about being able to commercialise the idea. This is why commercial potential is one of the criteria we use in judging applications and one of our considerations within this is whether the applicant appears to have the capacity, resources and experience to build revenue."
The MIA sponsors are hosting two lunches for potential applicants to learn more about the awards and hear from previous applicants and winners. The first takes place on 2 February at Daresbury Science Park and the second on 12 April at Liverpool Science Park.
Insider is once again proud to support the awards. The other sponsors are BBC Radio Merseyside, Brabners, Unilever, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool Local Enterprise Partnership, NatWest, the University of Liverpool Management School, MC Vanguard Corporate Finance, Mitchell Charlesworth, Village Software, WP Thompson, C-Tech Innovation, the North West Fund and Trustech Smart Venures.
The deadline for entries into this year's awards is 30 April 2016. For more information on the Merseyside Innovation Awards and networking lunches please contact Cara Bartlett on 0151 2552300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.