West Yorkshire Innovation Network launches first Innovation Festival for the region

Week of virtual events 15-19 March will bring together businesses, experts and support to showcase role of innovation in pandemic recovery.

Businesses across the region will have the opportunity to learn to become more productive, efficient and resilient, with the first West Yorkshire Innovation Festival, to be held 15-19 March.   

Created by the West Yorkshire Innovation Network and coordinated by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the festival will showcase the role of innovation in our region by bringing together businesses, expertise, resources and support programmes.    

With a week of virtual events from workshops to talks, masterclasses and knowledge sharing to interviews with innovative businesses, its aim is to help SMEs in across West Yorkshire innovate, discover the support available and build connections. This will contribute to the economic recovery by helping businesses to be more resilient, find efficiencies and increase productivity.   

Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the LEP and the NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships, said: “This festival is the first of its kind. Our partners are coming together to showcase the very best in innovation, while making business support more accessible. Together we want to encourage our SMEs to go beyond their current thinking, to see the possibility and build on their existing potential to develop sustainable businesses for the future.”    

The festival will begin with a roundtable discussion on the future of innovation, chaired by Roger Marsh, followed by a range of events throughout the week to showcase the breadth of innovation support available to businesses.   

Innovation is key to the region’s economic recovery and long-term future. The LEP’s recently launched Innovation Framework will guiding future activity and investment to support innovation in Leeds City Region. It sets out the ambitious goal of building an inclusive, thriving innovation ecosystem where SMEs, entrepreneurs and individuals are inspired to innovate.     

The collaboration between members of the West Yorkshire Innovation Network brings this activity together and simplifies how businesses can make the most of the support available.   

A key element of support is being delivered through the Connecting Innovation programme, which helps firms to engage with the innovation support available from research organisations, signpost to funding and private sector organisations.   

To see the full events schedule visit the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival website. 

Connecting Innovation is delivered by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.