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Businesses across the regions have been recognised in the first King’s Awards for Enterprise, announced today (21 April).
The Award programme, which was previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, have now been running for 57 years, recognising more than 7,000 companies since they started up back in 1965. The new name reflects His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II by recognising outstanding UK businesses.
This year sees 148 businesses from across the UK recognised by His Majesty the King for their efforts in one of four categories: Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).
The awards will be presented to businesses by His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants across the year.
The regions we cover have 16 companies recognised this year, with five for Innovation and ten for International Trade.
High Wycombe-based Medical Supply Unit manufacturer Cableflow International has been recognised by the King’s Awards for Enterprise for its equipotential earth bonding connection point. This is the second time Cableflow has recieved the award
The product provides a dedicated and unique point for the connection of various items of Medical Electrical (ME) equipment used within the patient environment and contributes towards preventing ventricular fibrillation (VF).
It equalises the earth potentials of various Medical Electrical (ME) equipment to limit risk to the patient, specifically for example, when undergoing an intracardiac procedure where parts of ME equipment come into contact with the patient.
Offered as both a stand-alone product in its own right for use across the UK’s Healthcare estate or as a component to be incorporated into other medical equipment manufacturers products, the Cableflow equipotential earth bonding connection point (or potential equalisation socket) is used around the world. Its usage is now promoted through harmonised international wiring regulations for healthcare facilities.
Cableflow CEO Graeme Dell said: “To receive one Queens Award is inspirational recognition for any business and placed us amongst the countries most respected and admired businesses. To receive a second, a Kings Award for innovation is further endorsement of our business, our people, our vision and continued determination to make a difference to patient safety and patient care.”
Forest Garden Group Limited
Worcestershire-based Forest Garden Group has been recognised for creating the first fully automatic high speed lap fence panel manufacturing process in the world.
The manufacturer and distributor of wooden garden products has been running for more than 50 years, today selling garden buildings, fencing, decking and decorative structures both online and in more than 3,000 retail stores.
The majority of the timber it uses is grown and felled sustainably from UK forests in Scotland, cut and processed in its nearby sawmill before being taken to its manufacturing operation.
Infoscience Technologies is a Wallingford-based company which been recognised for its Artificial Intelligence algorithms which use Natural Language Processing to read text within reports, enabling companies to automate work tasks including data extraction, summarisation and classification, as well as detection of new knowledge through trends, anomalies and meaningful insights to support ideation.
Founded in 2018, it targets oil and gas exploration, carbon capture and storage, mining, geohealth, geothermal, radioactive waste disposal, geotechnical and geohazards.
Bristol-based digital learning specialist LearnSci has been recognised in the Innovation category for its solutions and services.
Since being founded in 2007, LearnSci has aimed to transform science education and enable teaching teams to inspire the next generation of STEM graduates, now supporting more than 200 university departments around the globe with digital learning solutions.
Employing 30 scientists, web developers, designers and learning specialists, LearnSci develops interactive, problem-solving lab simulations and advanced digital worksheets that enable self-led learning and skills development. Its learning technology accelerates teaching innovation, helps prepare graduates for industry careers, and widens access to science across the world.
LearnSci’s Founding Directors, Bill Heslop, John Eastman and Tony Baldwin said: “We are honoured to have our work acknowledged in this way with the King’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2023. This Award belongs to the whole team at LearnSci and we are immensely proud to make a difference to the lives of so many science students and educators around the world.
It’s especially pleasing to be recognised for innovation in education as this underpins everything we do in the company to create better and more inclusive opportunities for teaching and learning. We want to thank all of our customers and partners for putting their trust in us and we look forward to continuing our amazing journey together.”
Trackwise Designs plc, the Tewkesbury-based manufacturer of specialist products using printed circuit technology, has been awarded the innovation award for developing a manufacturing process for length-unlimited multilayer flexible printed circuits.
Previously, flexible circuits were manufactured to a maximum length of 610mm, with machines designed to that length. After an approach from Rolls Royce in 2010, Trackwise developed its Improved Harness Technology (IHT) which enables the company’s globally-unique ability to produce flexible multilayer printed circuits of unlimited length.
This delivers significant space and weight savings of up to 75 per cent along with increasing reliability and repeatability in the process while reducing assembly times. As well as applications in aerospace, where space and weight is at a premium, it is also useful in electric vehicles and even medical appliances such as catheters.
Trackwise is entirely UK-based, with three facilities in Tewkesbury, Stonehouse and Stevenage, making supply chains more secure and shorter, with its closest competitors located across the globe in Asia.
Philip Johnston, CEO at Trackwise, said: “The diversity and ingenuity of applications using our IHT FPCs to drive product innovation is astonishing.
“Resourceful design engineers have been quick to recognise the significant advantages of IHT FPCs. It’s inspiring to see their visions for future products being realised as they replace conventional bulky wiring harnesses and interconnections with our lightweight, smaller and more reliable flexible printed circuit alternatives to solve their design challenges and deliver reduced assembly time and cost.”
AIS is a Gloucester-based company which engineers, manufactures and applies insulation and passive fire protection systems, buoyancy, and SURF (subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines) products.
The firm has been recognised with an International Trade Award, its sixth award for enterprise, for its significant short-term growth in overseas sales in key markets including China, Brazil, the United States, Malaysia and Ghana.
Its focus on exporting has seen it increase its revenue in China from £0 in financial year 2019 to around £8.5 million in 2021, while in Brazil it rose from £0.5 million to £3.2 million during the same period. In total, its overseas sales increased by 70.25 per cent over three years despite the pandemic’s travel restrictions.
Managing Director, Andrew Bennion said: “To receive the King’s Award for International Trade is a great honour. It is a testament to our export strategy that saw us emerge from the challenges of the pandemic stronger than ever. We also understand the importance of investing in our products and people, and I believe this focus has contributed significantly to our success.”
AMOB Machinery is a Coventry-based metal machinery supplier, offering solutions from simple machinery to more complex fully electric CNC powered systems. The company designs and develops products for a range of industries including automobile, shipping, offshore installations, aeronautics, chemical, construction and power.
Tyler Murray, Marketing Manager at AMOB UK, said: The team here at AMOB UK have worked extremely hard to produce the growth required to be recognised for the King’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade.
“AMOB UK has been fortunate enough to have installed metal forming technology into territories as far reaching as Australia and New Zealand in the past three years, an accomplishment that is only amplified considering the challenges faced by COVID 19.”
Oxfordshire’s Archivist creates high quality Letterpress printed cards and stationary. The company was founded in 1998 by husband and wife William and Sarah Allardice, beginning in the archives of the Natural History Museum.
Coombe Castle International
Coombe Castle has been exporting British and Irish dairy products across the world for more than four decades. The Melksham, Wiltshire-based company ships cheese to the USA and Canada, cream to Singapore and butter to Malta and Malaysia.
The award recognises growth in company turnover of 46 per cent against the very challenging international trade conditions of the last 3 years.
The company has won four Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the past, making this its fifth time winning the award. It employs a team of 35 people and partners with 40 suppliers to export to more than 45 countries.
Coombe Castle’s Managing Director, Darren Larvin said: “This has been a very successful period for the business. The award recognises our accomplishment and the invaluable contribution made by the team here to that success.
“Together we have grown our presence and reach in the US and Canada markets. We have also expanded in new markets including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dominican Republic, and Belgium. With the continued investment, in people, marketing and system processes, we are well placed to grow further as we open new markets for the great British brands we export.
“We are thrilled to receive our fifth Award for Enterprise in International Trade. It is a great honour for all our employees who have worked so hard over the years to grow our business. This award is recognition of their effort, their dedication and the loyalty of our suppliers and customers around the world.”
Wycombe-based Durston Tools has been manufacturing rolling mills and tools for the jewellery industry since 1961, with its products now available in more than 50 countries around the world and working with more than 250 jewellery industry dealerships around the world.
The company has seen its imports increase exponentially over the past ten years, with between a 25 and 30 per cent increase each year for the past three.
HealthScience communications consultancy Oxford PharmaGenesis was founded in 1998 and now employs more than 500 people worldwide. It offers expertise in services including strategic communications, medical affairs, value demonstration, patient engagement, informatics and data science, publications.
The company, which picked up a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2019, works with more than 50 healthcare organisations including specialist devices, diagnostics and nutraceuticals companies, and professional societies, patient groups and academic institutions.
Oxford Scholastica Academy
The Oxford Scholastica Academy was founded in Oxford in 2014. They are passionate about giving students the edge to help them succeed, find their purpose, and make a difference in the world.
They offer transformational education programmes for 12-18 year olds held online and in the city of Oxford. They are proud to win the first ever King’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category as a result of their international growth of 550% over the past three years.
They welcomed students from over 70 different nationalities on their residential courses in 2022, and students from over 60 countries attended their online courses.
Oxford-based Penman Consulting has been supporting the chemical industry in meeting complex international regulatory needs since 2008. The company helps companies demonstrate their products are handled safely for both human health and the environment.
Penman Consulting employs 35 people in the UK and another 30 in Europe.
Mike who received an MBE in 1996 for “Services to Environmental Safety” and Sue Penman, the founders of the business said they were delighted at the recognition the award brings.
“Not just for the company, but for all the staff across the company, past and present. They have worked so hard over so many years to develop and provide first rate services to those involved in the international chemical community.”
Coventry-based Sonihull is deploying ultrasound to clean up the oceans. The firm uses ultrasonic soundwaves to safely prevent marine algae, weeds and molluscs colonising ocean-going vessels and structures like ships and wind farms.
This removes the need for toxic biocidal coatings which often contain chemicals and microplastics. The Antifouling industry is estimated to be worth around $100 billion annually in the commercial shipping sector alone. Sonihull’s technology has been used on vessels in more than 70 countries and territories.
Its success has seen its turnover grow 40 per cent year-on-year, leading to an overseas expansion with new Abu Dhabi offices and laboratory in 2020, a USA office in Boston in 2022, and a Vancouver and EU base opening in 2023, with its UK headquarters rooted at Westwood Business Park in Coventry.
Darren Rowlands, CEO of Sonihull, said: “It is a huge privilege and honour for Sonihull to be named as one of the first companies to receive the new King’s Awards for Enterprise.
“This is the single most prestigious awards for UK business and it is particularly special to receive this acclaim from King Charles, who is well-known for championing climate action.
“Although we’re based in a landlocked city, Coventry has always been a hotbed for innovation and industry and we are proud to centre our operations in the place we call home.
“As a company, we have shown terrific growth over the past few years particularly on the international scene where exports now account for more than 95 per cent of our business, with our innovation helping to change the green credentials of the maritime industry.”
The First Class Pet Company
Little BigPaw from Worcestershire’s First Class Pet Company is a range of 100 per cent natural foods and treats which are all produced in the United Kingdom. The company previously picked up a Queen’s Award in 2018.
Little BigPaw has expanded globally since its launch in 2015, making the most the a growing trend for high quality natural foods. The company distributes through specialist pet and veterinary channels and is sold in more than 45 countries around the world, England to Ecuador, Canada to Korea, Sweden to Singapore and Taiwan to Trinidad.
The company also picked up the Pet Industry Federation Export Business of the Year 2022.
Little BigPaw co-founders David Alton and Jim Weston have over 60 years’ experience between them in the Pet Trade.
‘It is a huge honour to receive this award and we are absolutely delighted for the whole team and for all our dedicated distributors globally. This is royal recognition not just for Little BigPaw products but also for all the hard work of staff, suppliers and our distribution partners over the last few years.’ said Jim Weston.
“It is a great privilege for Little BigPaw to receive royal recognition once again. A big thank you to our team and distributors for making this possible. This award motivates us to continue to strive ahead to provide the very best of British pet foods around the world.” said David Alton.
Read more – Royal birthday marked with Queen’s Enterprise Awards for businesses