Innovation Festival launches at Space Park

Martin McTague OBE, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, gave the keynote speech.

Business leaders, influencers and innovators from across the region headed to Space Park Leicester for the launch of the 2024 Leicestershire Innovation Festival this week.

The sixth annual festival that celebrates Leicestershire’s vibrant business community is taking place at venues across the city and county from Monday 5 to Friday 16 February.

The University of Leicester has been heavily involved with the Innovation Festival from the very start, and works in partnership with Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), De Montfort University and Loughborough University, Innovate UK Edge, Midlands Engine and the Business Gateway.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Small Change, Big Impact’ with events focussed on the development and use of new ideas and technologies to address productivity challenges.

Martin McTague OBE, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) was the keynote speaker at the launch, which was held on Monday. In his address to guests Martin called on the Government to kickstart economic growth by investing more in small firms.

He said: “Innovation is not confined to big businesses and the tech industry, there are millions of small firms coming up with new ideas and installing changes within their business.

“Allowing them the freedom to experiment and try new ways of working is key to growth – yet barriers remain for small firms aspiring to go further with their tech investments and innovation.

Leicestershire Innovation Festival is a great opportunity to discuss how innovation and the use of technology can spur economic growth and explore what can be done to ensure small businesses are incentivised to take risks and develop new solutions from the bottom up.”

Professor Phil Baker Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester also spoke at the launch, he said: “We are proud to once again support the Innovation Festival and champion the innovation and entrepreneurship that thrives in the county.

“We know there is a lot to do in terms of support for small businesses in the East Midlands and Leicester, but we are working with the business community to stimulate activity, leverage our university's strengths and identify opportunities for synergy.”

The festival is led by the LLEP Business Gateway Growth Hub. See the full schedule and sign up for individual events on the website.