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‘It’s not just about what’s great today – it’s about setting standards, encouraging innovation and supporting growth for the future’


MEENA CHANDER pictured is a local businesswoman and event professional based in Milton Keynes. Like many of us, she is well aware that MK has a reputation as a thriving UK hub for STEM industries but she was shocked to learn that despite a plethora of business awards in the city, there was no fully dedicated awards programme to celebrate excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics. Then Meena had a big STEM idea… and it wasn’t just for another business awards. She tells businessmk.co.uk more.

So, Meena, what’s your big STEM idea?

Like many people, I’ve heard the messages coming from local and national government about the importance of STEM subjects in education and industries and for our development as a country.

I felt this city would benefit from a dedicated STEM awards programme – something to bring the whole MK STEM community together and give us a platform to recognise success and celebrate achievements in STEM.

Why do you think Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths are so important to Milton Keynes?

It’s pretty obvious that STEM subjects, specialisations and industries now provide a framework for this country to operate and communicate with the world and Milton Keynes has a built a great reputation in the UK as a hub for STEM industries.

It has robust national and international business links and this attracts new business, inward investment and new jobs. All of this helps the city and surrounding areas to thrive.

What do you want to achieve with the MK STEM Awards?

I think it’s odd that achievements in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths don’t get the recognition they deserve, considering how reliant we are on their on their on-going development.

So whether it’s an amazing science teacher, an innovative school project, a committed STEM faculty or a ground-breaking product launch, I think it’s time to celebrate the unsung heroes of STEM in our city. I want to promote their achievements and share their challenges.

It’s not just about what’s great today – it’s about setting standards, encouraging innovation and supporting growth for the future too.

So, what will the benefits of the MK STEM Awards be to MK’s STEM community?

Well, these aren’t just another business awards. The concept is a fully dedicated, fully inclusive programme that welcomes involvement from right across the MK STEM community.

I want involvement from five-year olds to CEOs and everyone and everything in between. We’ve got a world-renowned university with The Open University and Cranfield University is an world-class, international business school.

There’s the amazing MK:U with its dedicated STEM faculty, the new South Central Institute of Technology and then we have a wealth of incubators, research pods, seeds, start-ups and SMEs as well as massively successful global businesses. All of these focus on and specialise in STEM in some way.

I think the MK STEM Awards will give these brilliant folks a platform to shine and the opportunity for us to share their incredible achievements.

This will help to build the city’s reputation, establish links and bridges between business and education. It will raise standards and create role models and deliver opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders.

When will the MK STEM Awards take place?

The deadline for entries is October 29 and the Gala Awards Dinner will be on February 29 at the exciting Unity Place in the centre of Milton Keynes.

Find out how to enter and download a brochure at MK STEM Awards 2024 | Events  Together (events-together.co.uk). Find out how to be involved in the MK STEM Awards, either as a sponsor or a judge – email Meena at meena@events-together.co.uk.

Meena enjoys breaking new ground and is well known for This is Us Awards, where she brought MK’s diversity and inclusion community together to celebrate their tremendous achievements.

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