As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we are thrilled to reveal that two incredible graduates of our Health Innovation Programme are winners of this year’s prestigious Women in Innovation Awards 2021.

Health tech trailblazers, Caz Icke (Neuro Physiotherapist and Founding CEO of SoleSense) and Chen Davies, (Founder and CEO of LatchAid) both attended the West of England AHSN’s Health Innovation Programme at the beginning of their innovation journeys and have since continued to receive the ongoing business support that is offered to alumni.

Today it has been announced that the pair have both been successful in their bids to win one of the ten sought-after awards offered annually by Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation. Each will receive a £50,000 grant and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.

In response to the news, Caz Icke, CEO of SoleSense says: “This is my first award and the recognition has massively boosted my confidence! The funding and expertise it will bring is going to be pivotal in moving my innovation journey forwards, and it will open doors that otherwise might not have opened.”

SoleSense, a digital health tech innovation that support patients with neurological conditions to improve their performance in balance and walking, uses wireless pressure sensing insoles to deliver auditory and visual biofeedback via an app.

On her relationship with us at the West of England AHSN, Icke says: “I attended its Health Innovation Programme in March 2019, which gave me a crash course in business and helped me to move things forwards immeasurably. When writing the application for this award, I was given a lot of additional support from them and I definitely would not be where I am now without their help.”

Chen Davies, CEO of LatchAid, an innovative breastfeeding app helping mums and mums-to-be learn breastfeeding skills and connect with others, is equally ecstatic with the news:

“The Women in Innovation Award is life-changing! It will enable me to grow LatchAid full-time, strengthen my leadership skills, and gain invaluable support to lead LatchAid to its greatest success and impacts.

“The West of England AHSN has been a great support in my journey: from the Health Innovation Programme (June 2018), which was amazing and benefitted us so much, to the support received afterwards, including the grant writing review of our application for this (Innovate UK) Women in Innovation Award.”

“I would absolutely recommend the Health Innovation Programme to anyone in my position,” concludes Icke.

If you are a healthcare innovator, looking for business development support and tools, get in touch with us at the West of England AHSN. You can visit our Innovation Exchange for expert advice, information about funding opportunities, and to make contact with our team to access support.

Posted on March 5, 2021

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