• More than $80 million in business funding has been raised by the 1,000-strong community of entrepreneurs supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme
  • The Asia Innovates summit on 15-17 October in Kuala Lumpur celebrated the five-year anniversary, showcasing innovations from entrepreneurs across Asia who are supported by the programme
  • An online community has been launched to provide at-a-glance information on the innovations created, route to market and investment sought by the entrepreneurs, as well as collaboration opportunities

The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) programme, which is run by the Royal Academy of Engineering and supported by the UK’s Government’s Newton Fund, has celebrated five years of providing unique support for entrepreneurs around the world. The Academy marked the milestone by holding the Asia Innovates summit, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bringing together the most promising engineering entrepreneurs from seven of the participating countries – China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – alongside notable business leaders and investors from the region and the UK.

An online communityshowcasing the inspiring innovators supported by the LIF programme has also been launched to mark the anniversary. It provides investors and funders with an at-a-glance summary of the innovation created, route to market, and support sought from each entrepreneur. The community also provides a platform for the LIF engineers, researchers and innovators from around the world to collaborate and learn from each other to speed the commercialisation of products that will change the world for good.

Entrepreneurial training for research-driven innovators can be a powerful tool for expanding their businesses. Since 2014, the LIF programme has fostered innovation leadership by supporting 1000 of the world’s brightest engineering entrepreneurs from emerging economies across four continents. Between them they have secured over $80 million in business funding. The programme empowers its alumni to commercialise innovations that will contribute to economic and social development in their countries and beyond. Ranging from low-cost water purification and eco-friendly biofuels, to cataract treatment and assistive technology for disabled people, innovations developed by the LIF community are changing almost every industry, in all corners of the world.

The Asia Innovates summit demonstrated the role of the LIF programme in nurturing positive social change through entrepreneurship, and deepening partnerships between Asia, the UK and Europe. The 150 alumni in attendance received critical business training and support, from securing funding to developing a marketing strategy. As well as an inspiring opportunity for participants to network, exchange ideas and build lasting relationships through the rich programme, the summit featured thought-provoking discussions, mentoring, intense workshops, a pitching competition and a showcase that aimed to further develop and promote LIF alumni, supporting their path to commercialisation.

The winners of the pitching competition were:

  • Most Fundable Innovation Award:
    • Dr Wirulda Nik Pootakham, HybridSure, Thailand - A service that enables seed production companies to assess genetic purity of their hybrid seeds quickly and accurately using advanced DNA marker technology
  • Groundbreaking Innovation Award:
    • Dr Yongchong Chen, Beijing HAWAGA Power Storage Technology Company Ltd., China - A lithium slurry battery as a new energy storage technology. Low-cost, long-life, high safety and easy to recycle
  • Most Impactful Innovation Award:
    • Pham Ngoc Anh Tung, DEMETER - Foodmap, Vietnam – An agricultural IoT solution to help farmers increase productivity, predict yield and share information with restaurants and clients

Dr Mike Short CBE FREng, Chief Scientific Advisor at the UK’s Department for International Tradeand keynote speaker at the summit, said “The LIF programme has made a huge impact in facilitating innovation since its inception five years ago. Almost 1000 promising inventors have benefited from the programme and being part of this global community, and the Asia Innovates summit provides a perfect place to celebrate some of the most exciting projects from across Asia that we are proud to support.”

The event was hosted in Kuala Lumpur by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), and produced in collaboration with British Foreign and Commonwealth Office representatives in the seven participating countries. The summit presents the unique characteristics that make these seven Asian markets globally competitive, and showcases sectors where Asia pioneer’s world-leading innovations.

It was delivered by the Academy as part of the UK Government’s Newton Fund. The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 active partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable and equitable growth. Through the Newton Fund, the UK will invest up to £735 million over seven years, with funding matched by support from each partner country, magnifying the impact and outcomes.

DatukDr. Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, CEO of MIGHT, said “Asia Innovates 2019 serves as a platform that brings together the “best of the best” innovation in the region and channels the latest and potential technologies to meet the demand of industry. It is high time we bring our innovators to the centre stage and show our capabilities to the world.”

HE Charles Hay MVO, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, said “Strategic science and innovation partnership is increasingly important in shaping the modern-day relationship between the UK and Malaysia. The UK Government has committed to investing up to £35 million in Malaysia under the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund and this is matched by the Malaysian Government. The Fund supports 38 sustainability related programmes in Malaysia and The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme is an excellent example of this. I am pleased to see budding Malaysian entrepreneurs being paired with UK industry experts to develop market-ready innovations in health and life sciences, future cities, agritech, environmental resilience and energy security, as well as digital innovation and creativity.”

The newly-launched LIF online community brings together alumni spanning the full five years of the programme, enabling a collaborative network for LIF alumni, mentors, trainers, programme managers and in-country partners to create, learn, explore and innovate together online. The community makes it easy to connect with other entrepreneurs who are passionate about tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges and transferring research into real-world applications. Profiles of these inspiring technologies and innovations demonstrate their social and economic impact to a global audience, connecting LIF alumni with potential investors and stakeholders ready to support their path to market. You can visit the community at https://lif.raeng.org.uk/.

Notes for Editors

Images and information about the LIF programme and Asia Innovates summit can be seen in the press pack

Press Pack

  1. About LIF

The LIF programme was created and is run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, supported by the UK Government’s Newton Fund. It works in collaboration with each of the Newton Fund countries’ selected partner agencies to catalyse the commercialisation of innovations that will improve the social and economic development of emerging economies. Over the five years of its existence, it has supported 1000 innovators and has enabled participants to raise over $80 million in funding as well as launch more than 80 licensing deals and products to date.


  1. About MIGHT

The Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) plays a key role in developing Malaysia’s high technology for business through its role as a think-tank, private-public consensus building and business nurturing platforms. It is an organisation built on the strength of public-private partnership with more than 80 members, both local and international, from industry, government and academia.


  1. About the Newton Fund

The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries. The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 7 UK delivery partners, which includes UK Research and Innovation (comprising the 7 research councils and Innovate UK), the UK Academies, the British Council and the Met Office.

For further information visit the Newton Fund website (www.newtonfund.ac.uk) and follow via Twitter: @NewtonFund

  1. About the Royal Academy of Engineering

As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession.

We have three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale

Media enquiries:

For further information please contact:

  • AprilSix Proof on behalf of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Tel: 020 3141 2970
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Solvendis added a new event 15 hours

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training (Zoom Conferencing)

A provider’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) plays a critical role in its approach to safeguarding its learners, training its staff, providing...

  • Wednesday, 15 September 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event 15 hours

Level 3 Award in Education & Training (Zoom Conferencing)

  • Thursday, 23 September 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event 15 hours

Ofsted Inspection Nominee Training (Zoom Conferencing)

Within inspection, Ofsted invites providers to nominate a senior member of staff to act as the main link with the inspection team. Ofsted suggests...

  • Friday, 23 July 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page