Coventry professor among 40 UK women to win national innovation award - The Coventry Observer

7th Aug, 2022

Coventry professor among 40 UK women to win national innovation award

COVENTRY University’s Professor Helen Maddock is one of 40 winners in this year’s Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation Awards.

And in recognition she has been awarded a £50,000 grant to expand Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the pharmaceutical industry to assess the safety of drugs on the heart.

This national award recognises visionary British female entrepreneurs who drive forward their novel innovations and business ideas.

Professor Maddock is now the founder, chief scientific officer and director of InoCardia, a Coventry University spin-out company which aims to minimise the harmful side effects on the heart caused by pharmaceutical drugs.

She said: “I see this award as an opportunity which can enable me to inspire female scientists towards business innovation and entrepreneurship, making a real difference to women in science and their career aspirations.

“Being a female entrepreneur is definitely not easy – I have had many ups-and-downs in my career which really has felt like a roller coaster ride at times, but forming a successful company has been life changing and I feel this award will provide me with further confidence and support as I aim to become an assured and successful CEO, as well as helping to inspire the next generation of female scientists.”

Coventry University has supported the organisation since its inception, creating bespoke labs in the Alison Gingell building to house InoCardia’s equipment and operations in an industry-standard environment. Previously Professor Maddock worked in the pharmaceutical industry, including a spell working for a precursor of AstraZeneca, one of the leading companies involved in the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

The £50,000 grant will be used to expand InoCardia’s award-winning technology, with the company looking to diversify its artificial intelligence product with the end goal of making the pharmaceutical testing process more thorough and meticulous.

She added: “I’m delighted with the progress InoCardia has been able to make since the company was founded and it’s amazing to see our efforts recognised with such a prestigious award and a grant that will undoubtedly make a big difference.

“The support we’ve received from the university has been excellent and I have every confidence that we can continue to make great strides in our mission to make a real impact on the pharmaceutical drug testing process.”

During the pandemic InoCardia received £50,000 of funding to test side-effects of Covid-19 treatments on the heart as well as a further award worth £25,000.

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