Women’s trailblazer wins government funding

Dr Penny Trayner has been named as one of 50 women innovators to be awarded the Women in Innovation Award 2023 from Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency on International Women’s Day,.

She is Honorary Lecturer for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme at The University and a Clinical Lecturer in the same department from 2010 to 2015, when she was also the Deputy Academic Director, and Chair of one of the five University-wide research ethics committees.

Dr Trayner’s winning project will be the development of Goal Manager , an application that she developed to automate goal setting processes and administration in brain injury rehabilitation, her specialist area. The project was picked from over 900 applicants to be awarded £50,000 towards the further refinement of the platform.

She will be building a Data Dashboard, a project which will support clinicians and researchers in answering some of the most unknown questions in rehabilitation.

With millions of people in the UK requiring rehabilitation for various health conditions every year, as well as many millions more living with the long-term consequences of traumatic injuries and problems like stroke, Dr Trayner aims to be a leading light in the digital revolution in healthcare which will enable faster identification of patients’ difficulties, a more rich and specific understanding of needs, and a joining-up of services and pathways to mean that rehabilitation is more efficient and people can get better faster.

Dr Trayner has already won grants through Health Innovation Manchester, and was awarded £20,000 in ERDF funds to run a trial of the existing platform within the NHS which commenced in January 2023. The Innovate UK grant will commence in April 2023, and the Goal Manager project design team will be joined by Professor Andrew Bateman of the University of Essex. Professor Bateman is lead for the rehabilitation theme for the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative, Director of NIHR Research Design Service for East of England and Chair of the UK Acquired Brain Injury forum. He will be assisting with the research behind the design and evaluation of the new Data Dashboard.

As well as being a neuropsychologist, Dr Trayner is a professional DJ, and has also established the first of its kind DJing for Rehabilitation school, BPM Rehab, right in the heart of Manchester, in partnership with DJ Mark One, an award winning, internationally renowned, platinum selling DJ. Together they are changing the face of rehabilitation and making music more accessible for so many whose lives have been changed by catastrophic events.

Dr Trayner is proud to be running her business from Manchester, but works all over the UK and the world, spreading the message about leveraging technology to make the world more accessible and also designing interventions that people really want to help improve their lives.