The first sponsors have been announced for Leicestershire Innovation Festival 2024 – as the event focuses on productivity gains from small changes.
The theme of the sixth annual festival is ‘Small Change, Big Impact’.
And the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), which leads the festival, invited organisations from a host of sectors to a warm-up event at the Phoenix in Leicester.
Monday’s event was organised by the Business Gateway Growth Hub, with the aim of promoting ways that SMEs can get involved with Leicestershire Innovation Festival (LIF).
The annual festival will take place from 5-16 February 2024, with 20 events staged at venues across the city and county.
It will include the flagship LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards on the evening of 15 February 2024.
Sue Tilley, the LLEP’s Head of Business, Innovation and Partnerships, used Monday’s warm-up event to tell guests the story of Leicestershire’s innovation journey over the last five years.
She covered the launch of the Innovation Festival with three events in 2018, through completion of MIT REAP, foundation of the LLEP Innovation Board, launch of the regional Innovation Strategy, and last year’s biggest festival to date.
Emma Anderson, Director at Freeths and a LLEP Board member, joined Sue to tell the audience why the firm had decided to sponsor LIF24, reflecting on how AI is transforming the legal industry.
Sue then described to the audience options available for businesses wishing to get involved in February’s festival. Options include:
- Sponsoring. For the second year, there are a number of levels at which to sponsor the Festival. The LLEP has created three tiers of sponsorship, which are detailed in the LIF24 sponsor pack;
- Hosting. LIF24 events are already beginning to be listed on the Growth Hub website. About half of the available 20 event slots are open for business-led events and expressions of interest are being taken now. There is no charge to host an event, with the LLEP looking to hear proposals based around the 2024 festival theme. Email Irshad.Mulla@llep.org.uk for more details;
- Nominating. Sue described the aim to make the Leicestershire Innovation Awards the biggest yet. LIF media partner Reach runs the awards and is already receiving its first nominations ahead of a judging deadline early in the new year;
- Engaging. Businesses are encouraged to share relevant LIF events, nominations forms and other opportunities with friends, colleagues, and contacts. The hashtag is #LIF2024 and a new Innovative Leicestershire website launched at the 2023 event.
Businesses including Horiba MIRA, Freeths, Novartis, and Exemplas have already taken sponsorship of LIF24.
Loughborough University, University of Leicester, and De Montfort University Leicester are also sponsors, with Leicester Mercury and BusinessLive returning as media partners for the 2024 festival.