Women in Games Global Conference 2020 will go ahead thanks to support from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency

Women in Games is thrilled to announce they have been awarded an Innovate UK Competition for Business-led Innovation in Response to Global Disruption Grant. Over 8600 companies applied for this grant-aid and only 800 were successfully funded or part-funded. The competition’s aim is to support the development of ambitious and innovative products and services which will help society or industry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Women in Games will use the grant to help design and deliver the most innovative and forward-thinking online Women in Games Global Conference 2020. 

Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell, said: “The COVID-19 situation affects not only the nation’s health but also the economy and society. Businesses from all over the UK answered our call rapidly to meet the challenges we face today and in the future through the power of innovation.

“The ideas we have seen can truly make a significant impact on society, improve the lives of individuals, especially those in vulnerable groups and enable innovative businesses to prosper in challenging circumstances.”

COVID-19 and its impact means the 10th Women in Games European Conference cannot exist in its physical form in 2020. But existing equality challenges continue to impact the professional lives and personal wellbeing of females in the games sector. These are also being made worse by new problems emerging from pandemic-related disruption – from women adapting to remote work experiencing increased ‘digital discrimination’ to a surge in domestic abuse and mental health challenges. Both the UK Government and United Nations increasingly recognise Covid-19 is having devastating social consequences for females. As a result, our conference is needed now more than ever to continue to support the community. 

Women in Games is the leading force for gender equity and parity in the global games industry. Our vision is to innovate a pathfinder model for virtual conferences that engage and connect, entertain and educate audiences in new and impactful ways. Driving positive social change by harnessing the power of applied games design and immersive technologies, data science and artificial intelligence. 

Women in Games has been focussed on building and connecting a global  female community of practice, with 300 Women in Games Ambassadors in 36 countries. And our networked Women in Games organisations such as Women in Games France, Italy and Norway as well as Corporate Ambassadors with businesses across the globe.  

CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman says: 

We were very concerned we wouldn’t be able to go ahead with the annual ‘Women in Games European Conference’ this September, so considered delivering it online, it became clear there was actually an opportunity to reach a wider audience and go truly global…We knew it was a great idea but as a small not for profit, we knew we didn’t have the resources for this. Women in Games submitted an ambitious bid to get the Women in Games Global Conference 2020 up and running. My team and I are absolutely thrilled to be getting this backing from Innovate UK. And most importantly to be able to support and engage the Games Industry on a global scale this time.

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