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19 March, 2013 - 21:41 By News Desk

ARM takes Business of the Year glory

Graham Budd of ARM with Lord Sainsbury at the Business Weekly Awards. Photograph by Alan Bennett/Media Imaging Solutions

ARM Holdings was named Business of the Year at Business Weekly’s annual awards in Cambridge UK – on the very day the company announced a CEO succession.

The superchip designer – one of the world’s top technology companies – beat 25 other shortlisted companies to claim the crown for the second time in its 23 year history.

Earlier in the day CEO Warren East had explained to Business Weekly counterpart Tony Quested that he had been considering standing aside for a while to give ARM a fresh gust of wind beneath its progressive wings as it entered an exciting new era of growth that could leave Intel panting in its wake.

ARM grabbed the glory ahead of CSR, which was runner-up after a transformational and brilliant year. CSR couldn’t quite seal its third Business of the Year crown – which would have been a record – but had the considerable consolation of being named Wireless Company of the Year for the third time – which is a record. Sepura also pushed ARM and CSR hard in third place and won International Trade for the second successive year.

The honours, at the Queens’ College presentation dinner – attended by 200 top executives – went as follows:

Business of the Year - ARMInternational Trade - SepuraWireless Company of the Year - CSRCleanTech Company of the Year - Cambridge CMOS SensorsBiomedTech Company of the Year - BlueGnomeStartup of the Year - CCSCambridge Graduate Business of the Year – FeaturespaceSocial Enterprise Champion – Raspberry Pi

Ian Mather, managing partner of lead sponsor Mills & Reeve, explained why ARM came out on top. “ARM is the world's leading semiconductor intellectual property supplier and recently became the first Cambridge technology company to achieve a market cap of $20 billion.

“Its IP enables the development of low power, high performance digital products and is at the heart of more than 35 per cent of all consumer devices worldwide.

“Its latest results emphasised its growing reach: Q4 2012 revenue was 19 per cent ahead at £164.2 million with profit before tax 16 per cent higher at £80m. It took 2012 full-year revenues to £576.9m – 17 per cent up – with pre tax profit of £276.5m (up 20 per cent).

“Over 40 billion ARM based chips have been shipped to date and more than 900 processor licences sold to in excess of 300 companies. ARM is also spearheading a number of significant partner groups and ecosystems critical to successful deployment of the Internet of Things.”

Duncan McCunn of Barclays praised a superb achievement by Sepura which was third in the Business of the Year race and won the International Trade category for the second successive year.

He said: “Sepura is a multi international award winner and a global leader in TETRA digital radios. It delivers mission-critical communications to customers in the public safety, military, transport, utilities and commercial sectors.

“The company has broken into the North American market with high hopes of gaining significant traction in the US. One of its most recent export successes has been a contract with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research located near Geneva, which features the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), its flagship accelerator.

“Other recent deals include orders from Russian, German and Dutch public safety users plus contracts with oil & gas customers in the Middle East.”

BioMedTech winner BlueGnome was founded by a team of scientists who developed a novel mathematical technology for the analysis of genetic data following the sequencing of the human genome.

It has seen rapid growth and adoption of its technology and become a leading provider of genetic solutions for screening chromosomal abnormalities in cytogenetics and IVF, establishing integrated solutions in reproductive health and cancer.

BlueGnome is profitable and is the 2nd fastest growing biotech company in the UK with over 85 per cent of sales exported to major laboratories around the world – a feat which earned a Queen’s Award.”

Peerless wireless winner CSR is a pioneering designer and developer of silicon and software for the consumer electronics market, helping to transform the lives of motorists, photographers, music lovers, mobile phone users and other gadget-loving consumers. It focuses on five sectors – voice & music; Indoors Location; Automotive infotainment; Bluetooth Smart low energy connectivity for a range of devices; and Imaging. As demand for its products has grown and the range of devices and applications proliferated, CSR has expanded into new markets including voice, music & gaming.

CleanTech champion Cambridge CMOS Sensors is seeing increasing sales of its gas-sensing microsystems and is on the cusp of more major contracts. Gas-sensing technology has a broad range of applications, including domestic gas detectors, industrial safety, explosive detection, medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring.

The technology allows gas sensors to be produced in higher volume and at lower cost than current state of the art products. The devices can be heated from room temperature to 700°C in a fraction of a second and have the ultra-low power consumption suitable for battery operated devices.

Wireless company CCS won the Startup Company of the Year prize. As exclusively revealed by Business Weekly earlier today, it also raised £4.5m new cash to assist the push towards commercial rollout.

Mobile data is exploding. Existing mobile infrastructure is being overwhelmed by demand. Dense deployments of metro-area small cells are widely accepted as a solution to this problem but the critical element missing is cost effective backhaul. CCS has solved the small cell backhaul problem by developing a unique, small footprint, high-performance, flexible and self-organising microwave backhaul system. It utilises cheap and plentiful licensed spectrum which requires minimal regulator interaction.

Social Enterprise Champion Raspberry Pi just pipped Cambridge disabilities charity, CBM to win the honours. Invented in Cambridge by Broadcom’s Eben Upton, The Raspberry Pi is a $25 credit-card sized computer board that plugs into a TV and a keyboard.

It has sold an amazing one million units worldwide in its first year. It won the social Enterprise Award for driving a low cost technology into the field of education in a way that is already inspiring future generations of engineers in the developed world and crucially has the capability of lifting young people out of the poverty trap in least developed countries.

Shai Vyakarnam, director of CfEL, announced the Cambridge Graduate Business of the Year Award that his enterprise sponsors and said Featurespace just pipped Cambridge Temperature Concepts. He said: “Featurespace co-founder David Excell did his PhD under the inspirational Bill Fitzgerald at Cambridge and the company’s fraud-busting software solutions utilise behavioural change recognition algorithms developed by Cambridge University.

“Featurespace, whose investors include Cambridge Enterprise board member Mike Lynch, is scaling up globally and adding new target sectors to its traditional ones of gaming and lottery markets.”

The final shortlisted companies who pushed for honours were: Adder Technology; AlertMe; Amino; APC Solutions; ARM; Azuri Technologies; Bango; BlueGnome; Bromium; CBM; CCS; Cambridge CMOS Sensors; Cambridge Temperature Concepts; CRFS; CSR; Eagle Genomics; Eight19; Featurespace; The Howard Group; Nujira; PneumaCare; Raspberry Pi; S-Tech insurance; Sepura; Steinkrug; Ubisense.

• Photograph by Alan Bennett / Media Imaging Solutions

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