Blog 10 Jun 2024 

How innovation can create a more inclusive world

By embracing inclusivity, innovation can become a powerful tool for breaking down seemingly insurmountable barriers. Here’s how we’re driving this impact.

Ben Harrison

Ben Harrison

Marketing Business Partner

An AI tool for screening CVs that penalizes candidates for being women. Medical devices that lose accuracy on dark skin. Facial recognition technology that falters when scanning the features of minority groups. What do these innovations have in common?

While technology advances at breakneck speed, it is often designed for – and by – people who have similar abilities, backgrounds and experiences. When innovation is only powered by a few people, for a few people, it will almost inevitably crash headfirst into cultural and social barriers. 

With foresight and intentional inclusive design, however, technology can leap over these same barriers – and even help break them down. 

When inclusive design meets innovation

Inclusive design aims to create products, services, and environments that are accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their abilities, age, gender, culture, or other characteristics. It considers the full range of human diversity and uniqueness, recognising that people have varying needs, capabilities, and preferences. 

What happens when we apply those same principles to innovation?

For one, we begin to see innumerable opportunities for disruptive innovations, beyond a mainstream audience. From supporting infants to get the best start in life to easing the discomfort of those with disabilities, our communities need innovation that recognises the full spectrum of human experience. 

At CPI, we embrace technology that may support a smaller group of people but makes a profound impact. Here are some of the projects we’re proud to have supported, tackling long-neglected challenges faced by new mothers, amputees, learners in remote areas, and stroke survivors.


Parents of newborns experience a sudden, seismic shift in their daily lives, alongside an overwhelming wave of expectations and pressure. Alongside grappling with their own anxieties about their new roles, they’re tending to all their baby’s needs around the clock, adjusting to a loss of time and energy, likely while deprived of sleep. Amidst this, the very act of feeding their newborn child can become a minefield. 

There is substantial evidence that shows the many advantages of breastfeeding, and parents can feel immense pressure to opt for breastfeeding over bottlefeeding. But that’s not an option all parents have.

There are myriad reasons that parents may find it difficult to breastfeed their children, biological, logistical or otherwise. Couples in same-sex partnerships, parents with medical conditions, working mothers who don’t have access to supportive workplaces or have irregular work patterns are just a few examples. All these new parents may feel the weight of intense societal pressure and guilt, which can take a toll on their mental health at an already vulnerable time.

BoobyBiome was founded after its three founders recognised the challenges of breastfeeding and the lack of attention to breast milk microbiome research. We partnered with them to develop, optimise and scale the bacterial fermentation process for a next-generation supplement for babies, containing probiotic microbes isolated from breast milk. Our advice and state-of-the-art equipment helped them refine the manufacturing process and prove its scalability.

Pioneering breast milk research, BoobyBiome has spent over 5 years building the world’s first dedicated database and biobank. Thanks to hundreds of generous milk donors, they’re unlocking the secrets of breast milk bacteria. For new parents and newborns alike, this is a long overdue innovation, giving every infant – and all kinds of parents – access to the best possible start to life.


When most of us get cold, we can wrap up or put a heating pad on. But what if that biting, clenching cold wasn’t a passing chill – but a part of us? 

Heatleaf is developing a comfortable, wearable device to address a common problem for amputees: feeling intense cold due to poor circulation in their residual limbs. This painful cold can be severe enough that it’s theorised to be a possible cause of phantom limb pain. 

Heatleaf’s solution aims to improve amputees’ quality of life by providing vital pain relief. We facilitated Heatleaf’s product development by bringing together engineers across specialities to refine the design and develop prototypes. Our collaboration helped select the most suitable technologies for the final design.

A quote by Joanna Newton, Director of HeatLeaf: “As an amputee myself, I have first-hand experience of the issues that Heatleaf is trying to address...This is innovation that’s designed to address a genuine need, bringing relief to millions of people in the process.”

Global Teacher

Education is key to unlocking global progress on gender equality, to raising living standards, to improving health outcomes, to nurturing an individual’s quality of life and their sense of self.

Yet it’s not accessible to everyone. Struck by the lack of educational resources in many areas in the world, the founder of Global Teacher looked for a solution that would help as many learners as possible, using resources already available.

To help realise this ambition, we supported Global Teacher by consulting on funding, exploring different communication technologies like Bluetooth and LTE Cellular, and offering unbiased advice on the optimal solutions.

In January 2022, the charity successfully launched Pod, the world’s first educational, 3D-printed, solar-powered projector to teach students offline and off-grid. With a goal to teach one million children to read and write by 2025 through its technology, Global Teacher aims to revolutionise learning for students of all ages, all over the world.


Stroke recovery can be a long, exhausting battle for survivors. Daily tasks that were once easy become daunting, and it can be a frustrating journey filled with physical challenges like weakness, fatigue, and difficulty speaking. For survivors of stroke, every minute may take effort.

Recognising that stroke survivors are showing resilience and courage every minute of every day, KnitRegen has designed a device that supports survivors of severe strokes with a major challenge: regaining movement in their arms after moderate to severe strokes. 

While physiotherapy helps those with milder symptoms, KnitRegen’s innovative wearable tech offers a new approach for people struggling with significant arm impairment. Their patented smart textiles provide continuous muscle stimulation throughout the day, extending rehabilitation beyond therapy sessions and promoting arm-function recovery.

We supported KnitRegen across product development, helping improve the prototype, providing electronics and firmware design expertise, and consulting on the product’s future roadmap.

CPI innovating for an inclusive world

As these stories highlight, innovation thrives when it’s inclusive. By consciously designing for a diverse range of users, we unlock a wave of possibilities that can improve lives on a global scale. 

By fostering a culture of inclusivity in innovation, we can build a future where technology empowers everyone, breaking down barriers and building a world that celebrates and supports a fuller spectrum of human experience. Inclusivity stands as one of CPI’s core values, and we’re committed to supporting genuine, thoughtful, people-focused innovation for impact. 

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CPI ensures that great inventions gets the best opportunity to become a successfully marketed product or process. We provide industry-relevant expertise and assets, supporting proof of concept and scale up services for the development of your innovative products and processes.

CPI is your innovation partner to make your ideas a reality.