London, 21 August 2009
and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson and entrepreneur
James Caan today called on the UKs best
innovators to put themselves forward for the iAwards
- the first ever Government backed-awards to celebrate
achievements in science, innovation and technology
- to get the recognition they deserve. Their call
to action comes as a new survey shows that businesses
believe British innovators are unsung heroes whose
contribution to making Britain a better place
to live and work often goes unnoticed. Closing
date for entries is 16 September 2009.
The survey, commissioned
by the Department for Business Innovation &
Skills, reveals that more than nine in ten business
leaders agreed that giving employees recognition
will drive entrepreneurship in the workplace.
The survey also found that
nearly half (43 per cent) of senior executives
surveyed across the UK believe that UK organisations
are good at supporting innovative business areas
and ideas. While this shows a strong foundation
from which innovation can thrive, more must be
done to promote the skills and spirit which are
essential for shaping Britains future in
the global economy.
Views on the best way to
achieve this vary; the research reveals 63 per
cent of business leaders polled feel that open
communication to discuss new ideas will encourage
greater innovation from their employees. Less
than half (43 per cent) would consider implementing
innovation sessions, whilst a third (36 per cent)
would offer cash or stock option incentives.
Science and Innovation Minister
Lord Drayson said: Businesses are doing
a great job in developing the innovations that
will drive the country out of recession. It's
time to recognise and honour our best innovators
- those who are creating the successful companies
of tomorrow. The iAwards will do just that - not
just in these extraordinary times we find ourselves
in, but for years to come. Make sure to get your
entries in by 16 September 2009 to take part in
this inaugural year.
Leading entrepreneur and
businessman James Caan said:The economic
downturn presents an opportunity to transform
UK business and create a positive climate for
the creation of new innovations. Some of the worlds
most successful companies, including Microsoft,
were conceived during a recession. The UK has
some of the greatest minds in the world and thanks
to the existing efforts of our entrepreneurs SMEs
still make up more than 55 per cent of UK GDP.
They must be encouraged and recognised for their
work. I firmly believe that businesses who focus
their energy on nurturing the talent available
to them can lead the UK out of the recession.
This is why I support the iAwards, a long awaited
opportunity to fully celebrate and recognise the
strength of science, technology and innovation
in the UK.
The iwards includes 13 categories
which are open to all organisations, but all entrants
must specify the British involvement in any innovation
- demonstrating that innovative thinking and development
came from a British organisation or team.
The awards categories reflect
the greatest challenges we face as a country where
science and innovation offer the best chance of
developing viable solutions. Each entry must demonstrate
how its innovative qualities relate to at least
one of the following challenges: ·
- Addressing the healthcare
needs of an ageing society;
- Increasing international
security from tackling global poverty to minimising
the threat of terrorism;
- Preserving finite natural
resources in the face of population growth and
climate change; and
- Delivering public services
which make best use of new technologies.
- They must also demonstrate
that the innovation has an impact on one of
the Governments grand challenges for science.
The iAwards in association
with QinetiQ are run by the Department for Business
Innovation and Skills. Siemens sponsor the Next
Big Thing' category and Microsoft sponsor the
best technology start up category.
UK Trade & Investment,
the government organisaton which helps British
companies win business in new markets, will work
with the winning companies to help them find new
potential business opportunities and partnerships.
In addition to this, the winners will be invited
to attend key industry events such as the giant
Medica trade fair in Germany and TechnologyWorld
in Coventry this autumn.
Science and technology has
been a driving force behind Britains export
success. Exports for life sciences, for example,
rose 19% in 2008. Innovation is also important
in keeping the UK as the number one destination
for inward investment in Europe. UKTI statistics
show that the number of investment projects in
creative industries increased by 65% in 2008/9
and in software and computer services by 36%.
For more information, and
to enter, visit www.iawards.org.uk.
The closing date for entries is 16 September 2009
About James Caan
James Caan (formerly Nazim
Khan, born 1960) is a British entrepreneur of
Pakistani origin from Lahore. He is CEO of private
equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw and has been building
and selling businesses since 1985. In October
2007, Caan joined the panel of the fifth series
of BBC Two's Dragons' Den. His successes include
Alexander Mann, Humana International and AMS.
Hamilton Bradshaw specialises in buyouts, venture
capital, turnarounds, real estate investments
and development in both the UK and Europe, investing
up to £10 million in each individual transaction.
About UK Trade & Investment
UK Trade & Investment
is the UK Government's international business
development organisation, supporting businesses
seeking to establish in the UK and helping UK
companies grow internationally. The services offered
by UK Trade & Investment bring together a
network of business sector specialists and support
teams across England and in British diplomatic
posts in some 100 markets all around the world.
UK Trade & Investment works with a wide range
of partner organisations in the UK, including
other Government departments, RDAs and the Devolved
Administrations, Business Links, Chambers of Commerce
and trade associations. For more information,
visit the web site at www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk