The search is on to find Babergh and Mid Suffolk’s most innovative businesses for the district’s first ever Innovation Awards.
The 2020 Innovation Awards will recognise and celebrate those businesses who have strived to innovate as well as those who have adapted to overcome the challenges of Covid-19.
Businesses of any size can enter and share how new technology, new services and offers, or new ways of working are helping their business.
There are awards for sustainability, food, healthcare, construction, and high street innovation as well as categories to find the next Rising Star (young innovator aged between 16 and 25), SMEs and micro-businesses.
The awards will be judged by some of the leading names in innovation and creativity in the county including Tim Robinson (TechEast), Justine Paul (Suffolk Market Events), Professor Gurpreet Jagpal (University of Suffolk) and Julian Munson (NALEP).
Joining the judging panel are councillors Michael Holt and Gerard Brewster from Babergh District Council and Mid Suffolk District Council, respectively.
Despite the original black-tie awards being postponed earlier this year, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are leading by example and will be hosting the awards virtually on Tuesday, November 3.
In addition to the awards ceremony, the event will also have workshops on topics including small business finance and advice for start-ups as well as an online speed networking session.
The winner of each award will receive a prize contributed by the category sponsor that will be a mixture of a cash grant as well as bespoke professional advice, support, or training.
Sponsors of the first ever awards include Orbital Media, EO Charging, West Suffolk College, Scrutton Bland, and the University of Suffolk.
Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council, cabinet member for economic growth, said: “We want to celebrate businesses, teams and individuals who are using innovation and creativity at the heart of what they do to help improve and grow their business. These awards are open to businesses of any size in a number of sectors as well as those businesses who have adapted because of the restrictions caused by Covid-19.”
Michael Holt, Babergh District Council, cabinet member for economic growth, said: “For many companies and their employees this has been a particularly challenging year and we want to celebrate our resilient, versatile businesses who have had to do things differently during Covid-19 to reach their customers. We also want to recognise those businesses on our high streets, small enterprises and young entrepreneurs who are all breaking the mould in the way they work and using innovation to bring about success.”
Anyone can make a nomination for the Innovation Awards, which means businesses can nominate themselves or can be nominated by others.
All nominations must be submitted by close of play on Sunday, September 27. The nomination process is quick and easy and can be completed online, there is no limit to the number of categories a business can be entered for.
The shortlisted finalists will be announced week in October in preparation for virtual event on Tuesday, November 3.