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Alumnae Nicola Filzmoser and Ruby Pillai and Postdoc Dr Dilrini De Silva are among the 40 winners of the award from Innovate UK & KTN

The 40 winners of the Innovate UK and KTN 2021 Women in innovation award were announced  on Monday 8 March to mark International Women’s Day.

Among them are three of Lucy’s talented community members.

Nicola Filzmoser (MSt Entrepreneurship) founded Happyr Health in 2019 with her partner Cornelius Palm who also experienced childhood health challenges. Together they discovered they were far from alone, finding that as many as one in four children worldwide suffer chronic pain.

For Nicola Filzmoser, the Women in Innovation Awards is a springboard to bring Happyr Health’s digital pain management tool for children to life. Nicola’s experience in suffering from chronic pain from the age of four is central to her mission to improve the lives of children and young people who go through similar challenges.

Nicola Filzmoser commented: 

“It's an honor to win this year’s Women in Innovation Award. I am grateful for being recognized as a Women in Innovation for my efforts at Happyr Health®. The award significantly contributes to developing the pain therapy young people actually want. Together with my co-founder Cornelius Palm and our team, we are excited about the months to come.”

Alumna and postgraduate student Dr Ruby Pillai (MSt in Entrepreneurship) founded her tech start-up iWarranty in 2019 with a mission to reduce electronic waste by encouraging consumers to repair and reuse rather than replace items. The idea first came to Ruby while studying at the University of Cambridge when she experienced the frustration of having missed out on a warranty claim deadline and having to replace her product. She aims to reduce electronic waste by encouraging consumers to repair and reuse through easier management of warranty information with business iWarranty. 

Ruby said: 

“I am honoured and privileged to receive the Innovate UK and KTN 2021 Women in Innovation Award on this important day. The award has been granted at a critical point in iWarranty’s journey, and we know it will add significant value in realising our ambitious vision.”

Lucy’s Postdoc Dr Dilrini De Silva (Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellow and Research Associate in Bioinformatics at Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Institute) is looking to make a global health impact by improving treatment options for ethnic minority populations with her pre-seed  biotech start-up Jāna Bio, that she founded alongside postdoctoral associates at the University of Cambridge. Their aim is to have a major impact in the treatment options available for ethnic minorities currently underrepresented in medicines development.

Dilrini commented: 

“I am proud of celebrating this win with 40 stellar entrepreneurs across the UK to International Women’s Day. A massive thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this point in some form or other. There is a lot to be done in equalising precision medicine and this award to our pre-seed startup takes us one step closer.”

This year’s Women in innovation winners are developing pioneering innovations to tackle a range of pressing societal, environmental and economic challenges, from developing tools and products to enable precision medicine for underrepresented populations, to offering a sustainable collection of aerospace interiors, to creating digital educational tools. Each of the 40 award winners, from all over the UK, will receive a 1-year tailored package of financial support, mentoring and business growth opportunities.