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Celebrating Innovation: Kate Allan's Return to Wolverhampton High School

Last week, ExpHand Prosthetics Founder Kate Allan, returned to her high school in Wolverhampton for the unveiling of an Innovate UK Women in Innovation Award plaque. This purple plaque, part of a national initiative, celebrates the outstanding contributions of women innovators and aims to inspire future generations.

A woman holding a prosthetic arm, proudly standing beside award plaque.
Innovate UK Women in Innovation Award Winner, Kate Allan

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK, a division of UK Research and Innovation, is the UK's leading innovation agency. Their mission is to drive forward the future by supporting businesses that develop life-changing innovations. Through investing in the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services, Innovate UK fosters a dynamic and inclusive innovation ecosystem.

Innovate UK Women in Innovation

The Innovate UK Women in Innovation program was launched in 2016 in response to startling statistics: only 1 in 7 Innovate UK support applications came from women. Recognizing the potential economic impact of boosting female entrepreneurship, the program aims to empower women with ground-breaking ideas to innovate within UK businesses. The program offers grant funding, mentoring, networking, training, and role modelling opportunities. Since its inception, it has significantly increased female participation in innovation, leading to a 70% rise in women applying for Innovate UK's support.

A Proud Moment for Wolverhampton

The event was attended by the Mayor of Wolverhampton, who expressed immense pride in recognising a former pupil's remarkable journey and ground-breaking contributions.

“I knew being Mayor would allow me to meet some inspirational people and today I got to meet just such a person.”

Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Linda Leach

Four women standing in front of school holding plaque.
From left: Headteacher Trudi Young, Kate Allan, Councillor Linda Leach and Emily Nott from Innovate UK.

Kate's Message to Future Innovators

Reflecting on the recognition, Kate shared:

"It's such an encouragement to be recognized among Women in Innovation, showing that not only is there support and recognition for ExpHand Prosthetics, but also for myself as its founder. I hope it will inspire more women to start their own companies and take on new leadership roles. I hope it serves as inspiration for current and future students at the school to pursue their interests, take those sometimes scary leaps of faith, and go out and change the world!"

Kate Allan

Woman holding prosthetic arm amongst female school pupils.
Kate Allan with current pupils at Wolverhampton Girls' High School

Inspiring the Next Generation

Beyond celebrating Kate’s incredible achievements, this plaque serves as a catalyst for discussions on innovation within schools and throughout our broader community, while also spotlighting the vital role of women in driving innovation forward.

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