EUROPEAN WOMEN INVENTORS & INNOVATORS NETWORK (EUWIIN)
EUWIIN was founded in 2005 by Bola Olabisi following the British Female Inventors Conference and Awards which she also founded in 1998. In 2006, Bola requested for the support of London Metropolitan University. GWIIN and London University formed a partnership in 2006 with the preparatory planning and lobbying work done by a group of female voluntary specialists working in the innovation field from UK, Finland and Estonia, the EUWIIN was launched at the European Parliament in Brussels 7th February 2007.
The first EUWIIN conference with an Exhibition and Award Ceremony was organized in Berlin 15-16th June 2007 with 131 participants attending the conference and 35 inventions / innovations from 16 countries taking part in the contest and to be rewarded, and the international judging committee of 10 voluntary specialists judging the nominations submitted for the contest.
Following the successful inaugural Berlin conference EUWIIN has grown into a far reaching initiative of life changing experiences for many creative, inventive and innovative women. EUWIIN is the most dynamic gathering of women with great intellectual property and unparalledcapacity to empower, unite and inspire women to take their life changing contribution to job creation and a better quality of life for many to create heights. It offers great opportunities to share enriching stories of transformation of success, words of encouragement and life lessons.
The aims of the EUWIIN conferences
Many things argue in favour of promoting women´s activities in Europe. By the European statistics the number of women granted a patent is only 8,3%. It is estimated that the number of women who own a business in Science and Technology is only 5-15% depending on the country. The percentage of women accessing venture capital for setting up a business is only 20,3% compared with 79,9% of men.
There are official national innovation strategies in some countries and the common European innovation policy, too. There are national and European Union projects to promote women´s entrepreneurship, too. However, these strategies and policies do not take into consideration enough the economic potentialities hidden in the productive innovative creativity of women and their insufficient knowledge to intellectual property rights.
There are national projects in many European countries to develop equality between men and women to offer women equal opportunities. It is typical in these projects promoting innovations, entrepreneurship and equality, that they go their separate way. The reasons are obvious. The innovation strategies and policies are mostly done by male dominated groups that seldom understand the importance of this sort of “women affairs”. Many are now beginning to support and recognise the need for organizations working in the field of equality and the importance of women´s role as role models for innovations.
Training the skills to develop and commercialise an idea to a new product or new service and how to become the owner of a creative product by using intellectual property rights is essentially important especially now, during the time of globalisation and international economic depression.. By professor Jo Boyden of Oxford University “the return from the income of women to society to be used for the society and families is 90% compared with that of men´s 30-40%. These are figures from development countries, but even though the figures in Europe are not so dramatic, there is unanimity that the innovative talents of women are not used enough for the development of societies.
Even though the governments have not created national innovation projects just for women, fortunately there have been voluntary women to do so. There are voluntary organizations of women who have undertaken themselves to create networks that want to highlight innovative women and their achievements to enrich female culture by offering new female role models for women to follow – INNOVATIVE WOMEN.
To commercialise an invention or innovation through an own enterprise involves great risks. It is top of entrepreneurship. Women inventors and innovators are great risktakers and change makers.