DOZENS of businesses across the region took part in an initiative celebrating innovation.

A host of events was held as part of the third annual West Yorkshire Innovation Festival.

The week-long venture was co-ordinated by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, with partner organisations.

Activities – including talks and interactive sessions – showcased innovation in industries, ranging from sustainable fashion to artificial intelligence.

Amongst the events was Supercharging West Yorkshire’s Global Healthtech Sector, when medical technology businesses learned about £12.5 million of new funding for the sector.

The cash will be distributed to businesses demonstrating that the funds will have a positive impact on patient care through a new medical, diagnostic or digital health innovation.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, launched the festival.

She said: "I’m delighted that our innovation festival returned for another year.

"The festival brings together businesses, entrepreneurs and people of all ages and backgrounds to encourage ideas and collaboration, create new opportunities and foster a culture of innovation to help supercharge businesses.

"West Yorkshire has long been a hotbed of innovation, from the industrial revolution right up to the modern day.

"It is vital we empower each other and celebrate innovation in our region – no matter how big or small the business.

"Innovation is for everyone, and together we’ll build a stronger, brighter West Yorkshire for all."

Mandy Ridyard, the mayor’s business advisor, says: "The festival is such an important celebration. It shows that innovation is for everybody and that all you need is a good idea.

"It provides the chance to connect, learn and – crucially – help foster the innovation which will boost our economy.

"There was an amazing line up of events taking place this year."

Supporters of the venture include the West Yorkshire Innovation Network, with members such as Leeds University, 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Network and Catapult network.

* The Federation of Small Businesses says latest data for the region shows "signs of stabilisation".

Its quarterly index indicates that whilst confidence amongst small businesses remains in the negative, it has risen compared to the previous period and stands at its highest since the first quarter of last year.

Mohammed Hussain, policy representative for the federation in this region, says: "This latest regional research shows signs of stabilisation in small firms’ performance. It’s good to see confidence improving but it is still in negative territory, reflecting just how hard it is to run a business right now.

"Economic growth in our region will be driven by small firms."