Innovation Network

WLB member Libra Careers are offering London based businesses the opportunity to work with and develop some of the world’s most elite and versatile graduates actively seeking opportunities to grow within a more agile environment in London.

After another successful cohort in which 24 candidates were selected from a group of over 1,000 applicants from some of the UK’s top universities, the programme has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2022.

Libra Careers provide a business-ready pool of some of the world’s most impressive graduates and young professionals for local businesses to employ.

Every six weeks, Libra select and qualify candidates, and invite them to take part in an intensive 25-hour training course. Candidates then come onsite to their Fulham office and take part in seminars in which they interact with fellow peers and some of the clients Libra are currently working with.

The service focuses on a ‘hire-train-and-retain’ model. The purpose of the course is to equip participants with the fundamentals of contributing positively to a successful ground up operation. Each candidate will be allocated a mentor by Libra for 6-months to make the introduction as seamless as possible.

Currently hiring for Generalist, Operations, Marketing, Business Development and Data roles, the Libra Careers team are happy to tailor your search for your specific needs.

All of this is available at a flat rate to compete with traditional recruitment agencies. West London Business members will receive further discount. We have our next cohort running on 22nd June and West London Business Network members can advertise any roles in our brochure at zero cost.

For more information reach out to

London West Innovation Network is excited to share some open funding opportunities available for businesses out there.

Net Zero living digital accelerator round one

Closing Date: 7th June 11 am

The aim of this competition is to support ambitious, early stage digital focussed businesses in developing and delivering net zero in relation to challenges based on place. This must be done through data driven digital applications and by collaborating with potential customers and product users.

By accelerating their journey, the aim is to create high growth businesses that will drive forwards digitalisation across the UK and globally in Net Zero sectors, creating jobs, growing a customer base and delivering customer value.

Your proposal must focus on two or more net zero challenges across:

  • power
  • heat
  • mobility
  • product manufacture and usage

Total Fund: £1,500,000 – Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £150,000 and £300,000. Apply here.

Advancing precision medicine: round two

Closing Date: 28th June 11am

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £20 million, over two rounds of this competition, in industry-led collaborative R&D innovation projects. Up to £10 million has been allocated to this round of the competition.

The competition will fund projects aiming to develop digital and data-enabled tools as well as multi-modal approaches for more accurate diagnosis and treatment stratification.

The aim of this competition is to award innovation projects that focus on novel digital and data-enabled tools to:

  • more accurately diagnose conditions and stratify patients to the most appropriate treatments
  • increase the application of integrated and multi-modal approaches to determine risk and diagnosis and to predict prognostic outcomes

Your proposal must demonstrate how it addresses an unmet clinical need or responds to NHS demand signalling. Apply here.

Round 2: a focus on oncology, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions

Total Fund: £20m – Your project’s total costs must be between £500,000 and £1 million.

Innovation loans future economy competition: round nine

Closing Date: 7th July, 11 am.

Innovate UK is offering up to £25 million in loans to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Loans are for highly innovative late stage research and development (R&D) projects with the best potential for the future. There should be a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact.

Your project must lead to innovative new products, processes or services that are significantly ahead of others currently available, or propose an innovative use of existing products, processes or services. It can also involve a new or innovative business model.

Your project must focus on one or more of the future economy areas included in the Innovate UK plan for action.

You must be able to show that you:

  • need public funding
  • can cover interest payments
  • will be able to repay the loan on time

Total Fund: £25,000,000 – Loans can be between £100,000 and £2 million. Apply here.

Business leaders and Borough representatives will come together on Tuesday, the 16th of May for a one-off free webinar organised by LWIN to provide tips and tricks to SMEs on growing and expanding your business by throwing light on the different opportunities in the supply chain and customer landscape in public and private domains.

The webinar, Growing your Business: Finding New Markets, Partnerships and Expanding your Customer Base,  will happen online via Zoom and is scheduled for Tuesday, the 16th of May from 10:00 – 12:00 pm. The session is chaired by Heathrow and the panel includes speakers from Heathrow, AWS, Fujitsu and the London Borough of Hounslow.

The session will provide you with:

  • Best practices on networking and building partnerships to access new supply chains linked and expand your customer base.
  • Insights on popular avenues to identify and engage with public and private sector tendering opportunities.
  • An overview of how best to demonstrate your capabilities and competitiveness, to secure right contracts and contacts.

Andrew Dakers, CEO, West London Business, and Co-chair of LWIN, will also be speaking at the online event, and explains:

“The London West Innovation Network is proud to be able to bring this incredible line-up of speakers together at this free event to assist the growth of London startups and SME’s in these challenging times.  LWIN’s focus is on the long-term success of London’s businesses, so this event is a fantastic way to support and galvanise the type of businesses that are the lifeblood of our capital city.”

Know more about the webinar and book your free place here.


Libra Careers provides expert training and mentorsh and matches the UK’s most talented graduates with the world’s most innovative, fast-growth StartUps. They have offered limited slots to LWIN members to pitch their brand to candidates.

Libra Careers recruit candidates from top universities who are looking for opportunities in fast growth start-ups. Candidates learn from industry experts and business coaches on their start-up programme. Mentors work 1-2-1 with their new employees for 6 months, to accelerate induction and reduce bedding-in time.

They are holding a careers panel on the 12th of May and they have two slots remaining, which they have offered to LWIN members. Reach out to if you are an LWIN member and would like to book a slot, or for further details.

Leeds Innovation District, a member of UK innovation District Group, is all set to host Climb23: the UK’s new festival of innovation, industry and investment. On 23rd-24th May a gathering of 3000 will assemble at Leeds dock to create an event like nothing the UK has seen before. On 23rd-24th May a gathering of 3000 will assemble at Leeds dock to create an event like nothing the UK has seen before.

The Leeds Innovation District or the Leeds Innovation Arc brings together the Leeds NHS Trust, University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds City Council in an ambitious partnership to create a hub of innovation right in the centre of Leeds. It provides a base for entrepreneurs, start-up and scale-up companies to mix with established hi-tech businesses and tap into the expertise of world class education institutions, to create innovative new products and services.

Investor Ladder is bringing the international innovation and investment
ecosystem together to look at the global challenges and opportunities through the next five years. They will be connecting investors, showcasing businesses, industry leaders and international ecosystems from multiple sectors in an informal, festival style symposium.

The event will feature international speakers, round table discussions and amazing showcases, all centered around high-quality networking, great food, and a celebratory atmosphere. Check out the agenda here.

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has announced its new Business Support Partners (BSPs) – three national partners and a number of regional support partners. The new appointments will work with the Start Up Loans programme to deliver funding and support for small businesses across the UK over the next two years.

The Start Up Loans Company provides personal fixed-interest loans and support to aspiring and early-stage business owners from across the UK who might be struggling to access other forms of finance. The programme supports employment, enables economic growth and has a transformational impact on the lives of thousands of people. The scheme has a 10-year old legacy of delivering funding at a fixed interest rate of 6% and mentoring to recipients in their first year. Since inception, the scheme has delivered over 100,000 loans worth more than £960 million to business and its delivery partners (now renamed as Business Support Partners) have always been critical to its success.

When you apply for a Start Up Loan, they assign you to one of their business support partners. Where possible, they try to match you with a business support partner that operates in your local area. The business support partner will pair you with a business adviser who will help you move things forward and be your key point of contact throughout the process. Their business support partners operate in various regions and industries across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and they work closely with them to ensure that responsible lending decisions are made.

The new national BSPs will support businesses across the UK and target specific demographics traditionally in need of additional support. They are a network of leading business support organisations with the expertise to help our customers secure a loan to start or grow their business. Some of them include:

  • GC Business Finance: A responsible lender with a proven track record in providing alternative finance products to support growing businesses achieve their goals. To date it has loaned in excess of £150m and supported over 30,000 growing businesses throughout the UK.
  • X-Forces Enterprise: A specialist organisation that helps members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Service communities, including their family members, nurture their entrepreneurial ambition, secure funding and make their business plans a reality.
  • The Prince’s Trust: A youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30. Its Enterprise programme helps turn young people’s big ideas into fully fledged businesses. It has helped over 90,000 young people to start their own business.

To make sure you are supported effectively, you will only be able to work with one business support partner and you won’t be able to change this once you’ve submitted your application: Business Support Partners, Specialist Partners or Post Loan Support. Learn more here.


Businesses based in the London boroughs of Ealing and Hillingdon were out in full force this week at the launch of the London West Innovation Network, as they celebrated qualifying for competitive business grants that will help them achieve high growth and increased employment locally in presence of dignitaries including Seema Malhotra, MP, Steven Wilding from Hounslow Council, Nigel Cramb from Hillingdon Council and Andrea Laffey from Borough of Ealing, at the Central Research Laboratory, Plus X, one of LWIN’s delivery partners.

In 2022, LWIN, with staff-support from West London Business was commissioned by the Boroughs of Ealing and Hillingdon to devise and manage an innovation grant programme to deliver over £3 million of funding to local fast-growth SMEs. At the end of a rigorous and competitive application process, 34 businesses were awarded grants across sectors as diverse as Health & Wellbeing, Creative & Media, Aviation & Logistics and Food & Drink. This Tuesday represented the official launch of the London West Innovation Network, when it brought together all of the grant winners representing some of the most innovative minds in West London, for an evening of networking and celebration.

Seema Malhotra, MP of Feltham and Heston, who is also the co-chair of London West Innovation Board addressing the grant winners


Andrew Dakers, CEO of West London Businesses and co-chair, London West Innovation Innovation Network addressing the crowd live from Australia

Andrew Dakers, CEO, West London Business and Co-chair, London West Innovation Network (LWIN) said:

“It is an astounding group of highly innovative companies that we have been able to support to date.  Post-launch, LWIN is now focused on long-term development funding and mobilising business support for the 2000+ fast growth businesses across its geography, including our recent grant winners.”

Other dignitaries including Seema Malhotra, Toby Kress and Borough representatives touched upon the power of innovation, and how local government leaning into support local companies has the power to bring together innovators, industry and academia to unlock potential opportunities in the region.

Ealing Grant Winners with Amelia Grant, Project Manager of LWIN


Cohort of Hillingdon Grant Winners with Amelia Grant, Toby Kress and Nigel Cramb

The Ealing and Hillingdon grant winners are carrying out innovation in diverse fields from agriculture, education, pet welfare to hydrogen production. Read more about the businesses here.

Toby Kress, Programme Director of Plus X, also the host of the evening. Most of the Hillingdon grant-winning businesses are based in CRL.


Steven Wilding from Hounslow Borough talking to the crowd about the various business support program provided by Hounslow Council


Andrea Laffey from Ealing Borough addressing the crowd

Nigel Cramb, Partnerships Manager at London Borough of Hillingdon addressing the grant winners

The network’s  first interactive workshop on early-stage fundraising will take place on Wednesday 19 April, and aims to help businesses understand the funding options available to them and learn from a panel of experts representing leading venture capitalists, active Angel networks, plus universities, and explore the different kinds of flexible capital support available from the banking sector.

To find out more about the London West Innovation Network, visit, or follow LWIN on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Radiant Matter, developer of the world’s first BioSequin and 2020 Hillingdon Enterprise Fund Grant, a business support program that London West Innovation Network coordinated for the Hillingdon Coucil, has taken to the April 2023 edition of Vogue magazine featuring Stella Mccartney.

Source: Annie Leibovitz/Vogue US

Cara Delevigne, model and eco-activist wore a jumpsuit made using BioSequins, a biodegradable and non-toxic material innovated from plant-based cellulose, using no metals, minerals or synthetic pigments or colorants. She was featured for Stella McCartney, who debuted this exclusive and pioneering creation on the cover of the April 2023 edition of Vogue magazine.

The BioSequins are the creation of Radiant Matter, a Hillingdon-based material innovation company that is developing colour and material solutions for the circular economy. The start-up was a winner of the 2020 Hillingdon Enterprises Fund Grant winner, a business support program orchestrated by the Hillingdon Council, that LWIN coordinated. They transform naturally abundant cellulose into a material that produces shimmering structural colours, used to create sequins and glitter. The cellulose displays nature’s brightest colours and unlike traditional sequins, Radiant Matter’s sequins shimmering iridescence is free from chemical colourants, metals and minerals, and are non-toxic and can be made biodegradable, hence developing textile solutions that are safe for the environment and for human health.

McCartney utilised the BioSequins to create an all-in-one jumpsuit, handmade at the brand’s London atelier and custom-made for Cara Delevingne. “I am amazed by the iridescent beauty of our BioSequin all-in-one — handcrafted in my London atelier from plant-derived, non-toxic sequins that are even more stunning than conventional options. Who says sustainability can’t be sexy?” the designer says in a press release.

The process came about as a result of looking into the effects of the fashion industry on the world’s already-existing plastic problem. According to Oxfam, British women purchase 33 million sequinned garments every festive season, with 1.7 million garments ending up in landfill. As a result of this, 35% of microplastics currently contaminating the world’s oceans are found to be coming from synthetic clothing. Highlighting the cruciality of sustainable clothing.

“We have loved Stella McCartney’s uncompromising approach to sustainability and aesthetics, which are reflected in any decision, down to the fabric and thread  choice, resulting in a stunning yet fully plant-derived garment.” — Elissa Brunato, founder of Radiant Matter.

The jumpsuit may not be commercially available as of yet; however, its introduction is certainly a small step in the right direction when it comes to sustainability in fashion.


London West Innovation Network to be officially launched on the 28th of March, at the *invite only* networking event that will bring together their Innovation Grant Winners, a program LWIN coordinated with staff support from West London Business, and dignitaries including Seema Malhotra MP and other government representatives.

In 2022, London West Innovation Network with a staff team at West London Business was commissioned by the Boroughs of Ealing and Hillingdon to devise and manage a business support competition to deliver over £3million of grant funding to their SMEs to support accelerated growth and local employment.

The innovation funds: Ealing Pioneers Fund and Hillingdon Enterprises Fund, was part of the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), aimed at supporting businesses impacted by COVID-19, and was launched by the respective boroughs to deliver targeted innovators in their geography to boost economic growth and employment. The schemes designed to support innovation in products and services, provided grants to entrepreneurs, micro and small businesses to be used for testing, prototyping innovations, supporting adaptations and diversifications of products or services.

At the end of a rigorous and competitive application process, 34 diverse businesses were awarded grants totalling over £3 million aimed at delivering innovation from sectors including Health & Wellbeing, Creative & Media, Aviation & Logistics, Food & Drink.

This closed, invite-only, networking event will mark the official launch of a rebranded and updated London West Innovation Network.  The evening will bring together all grant winners representing some of the most innovative minds in West London, for an evening of networking and celebration.

With sustainability gaining prominence in business agendas and motives, with more and more businesses and organisations realising the impact the rhetoric has on their long-term success, it might be time to understand sustainability from a much comprehensive lens. Fujitsu is setting the stage by incorporate a comprehensive sustainability strategy in their business model focusing on the environment, economies and wellbeing aspects of sustainability.

The climate crisis requires urgent notice, and businesses and corporations have a crucial role to play, not just by contributing towards the environment, but also by setting the stage, for others to follow suit. Fujitsu, by surveying 1000 businesses across 15 countries and 10 industries tried to evaluate how different companies are making a different to three pillars of sustainability.

The findings showed that companies have a wide-ranging view on Sustainability Transformation, with different objectives, although, the environment pillar had the most weight reflected on companies’ compliance with sustainability regulations. The trend lately is also significantly influenced by the new sustainability disclosure coming into effect across the globe like the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. However, organisation are also focusing on other pillars of sustainability, by committing to developing sustainable supply chains and ecosystems, and putting enough emphasis on societal issues like employee health and wellbeing, equality and the broader health sector.

On the environmental front, Fujitsu is fueling environment change through digital innovation, focusing on AI, computing, network, data and security, and converging technologies. Together with IHI, they are also leveraging blockchain technology to create carbon trading and tracking ecosystem to identify energy savings in client’s supply chains. This could significantly contribute to a reduction of CO2 emissions.

On the economic front, studies have shows that the demand for sustainable goods have been on the rise, the cultural shift is visible in Fujitsu’s research, with more than half of the organisations expressing worry in their long term success if they don’t address sustainability issues today. In terms of social wellbeing, Fujitsu’s research shows that societal change has become a crucial part of social sustainability.

The SEVP and Chief Revenue Officer at Fujistsu, argues that, “The concept of Sustainability Transformation covers not only short-term goals, but also initiatives for the future. Large enterprises have a particular responsibility to promote all areas of Sustainable Transformation”