Rochester and Strood MP Unveils Purple Plaque For Inspirational Local Woman

On Thursday 27th June 2019, Kelly Tolhurst MP attended the Waterfront UTC to unveil a new purple plaque to commemorate the work of local entrepreneur, Dr Fanya Ismail.

As well as being a Rochester and Strood constituent, Dr Ismail is one of nine women innovators who have been recognised as the winners of the Innovate UK Women in Innovation Awards 2019. Dr Ismail has developed a chemical process called ‘sol-gel’ which produces solid materials from small molecules that will make disposable coffee cups waterproof without the need to use plastic, a technique that is proving revolutionary.

Each winner has been commemorated with a purple plaque, and Dr Ismail had asked for her plaque to be installed at the Waterfront UTC – a local college specialising in science, technology and engineering subjects.

As well as their success being celebrated through plaques, the winners of the competition, which is open to female founders, co-founders or senior decision makers, will also receive a £50,000 grant to a bespoke year-long package of mentoring, coaching and business support to further develop and grow their businesses.

Kelly Tolhurst MP, said: “It is such a privilege to be here today, not only as the local MP or as the Minister for Small Business, but also as a woman and a big promoter of women in business and innovation.”

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Fanya for developing such an inspiring innovation that will play such a prominent part in boosting the UK economy of tomorrow. The next generation have a fantastic role model to look up to with the skills she is pioneering for the key issues faced by the nation.

"It's great to see Innovate UK shining a spotlight on underrepresented groups and making a real shift change in funding of our future innovators”

“It is fantastic to recognise Dr Ismail for the incredible achievements which she has made in her career, and the purple plaque is a wonderful tribute to her work.”