Region Plays Host to Hotbed of Innovation as Mayor Kicks Off West Yorkshire Innovation Festival

Week-long festival to celebrate and spotlight innovators and entrepreneurs with 30 inspiring events to break down barriers for those starting their innovation journey

7 October 2022

A week-long series of events celebrating the region’s rich diversity of innovators and tech entrepreneurs has begun, as Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire officially launches the West Yorkshire Innovation Festival 2022.

During the week of 3-7 October, 30 in-person and online events, workshops, talks and sessions will inspire fresh thinking and break down the barriers to innovation. The festival will showcase start-ups, businesses and inspirational stories from people of all age groups and backgrounds across West Yorkshire.

The festival will draw to a close on Friday with the official launch by Tracy Brabin of the Mayor’s Innovation Prize - the first, regional prize aimed at entrepreneurs aged 16 to 26 to help find solutions to tackling the climate emergency, with a view to starting or growing a businesses.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“West Yorkshire has a long and proud history of innovation - from the Industrial Revolution to the digital age, we have been at the forefront of new ideas and ways of working.

“The West Yorkshire Innovation Festival is an opportunity to showcase the best our region has to offer, the great people who are making this happen, and inspire everyone to think differently.

“Innovation is for everyone. It doesn’t matter about your age, background or where you come from - a good idea is all it takes to spark something amazing and that’s what this week is all about.”

The festival will open with pupils from across the region discovering the results of a Green Tech challenge, which tasked them to develop an idea to make their school more sustainable.

National innovation agency, Innovate UK are hosting their local event in Bradford and will include Q+As with successful innovators and business leaders from across the region.

The festival also includes practical sessions for entrepreneurs including marketing insights, networking events and sessions on how to turn an idea into a business and build the skills to support innovation and productivity.

The festival will see a deep dive into the cutting-edge technology and capabilities of the University of Huddersfield’s 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, the role of big data in driving innovation in healthcare to reduce inequalities, and an examination into how to make manufacturing more sustainable.

The West Yorkshire Innovation Festival is coordinated by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and supported by partners across the region, including the West Yorkshire Innovation Network.

Organisations in the network include Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Leeds University, 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Network, Innovate UK EDGE and Catapult network.

Together, these organisations along with others create an ecosystem to provide innovation support to businesses in the region.

The full programme for the festival can be found at

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