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21 April, 2015 - 01:01 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge technology the crowning glory in Queen’s Awards

Sepura CEO Gordon Watling

Cambridge technology cluster companies dominate the East of England’s procession of winners in the 2015 Queen’s Awards for Innovation, International Trade and Sustainable Development announced today. 

The cluster provides 11 of the 23 East of England winners – both totals among the highest for years. The success is a reflection of this region’s eminence in UK business.

Queen’s Award for Innovation winners are Cambridge Intelligence, Ekioh, Heraus Noblelight and Thermoteknix  – all based in the cluster.

Winners of International Trade awards are Cambridge English Language Assessment, Cambridge Pixel, Cambrionix, CRedit360, Quixant and Sepura (all Cambridge), plus Applied Acoustic Engineering (Gt Yarmouth), European SprayDry Technologies (Harlow), HiBreeds International (Norwich), Magnus Marine (Norwich), Medisafe UK (Bishop’s Stortford), Porvair Filtration Group (King’s Lynn), Premier Exports (Watford), Pumptronics Ltd (Norfolk), Rega Research (Southend) and Seafast Logistics (Felixstowe).

Anglian Water Services in Huntingdon won a Sustainable Development Award. Entrepreneur Lopa Patel (Hatfield) won an  Enterprise Promotion award while Christopher Pichon, chairman of The Wenta Business Centre in Watford won a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cambridge Intelligence was rewarded for developing KeyLines, a unique data visualisation tool-kit. The software enables clients rapidly to identify patterns and analyse connections within large quantities of data. The product has been deployed on tasks as varied as detecting fraud, monitoring critical infrastructure and finding thought-leaders on Twitter.

Ekioh is recognised for designing, developing and commercialising a graphics engine for television top-boxes. The product facilitates the delivery, for example, of programme guide data, programme management and video-on-demand catalogues.

Heraeus Noblelight, based on Cambridge Science Park wins an Innovation Award for developing and applying an automated process for arc lamp manufacture. The novel process comprises single-piece flow production cells using proprietary auto-assembly equipment. Combining modern electrical, mechanical and software components to replicate manual tasks, the process is the first to automate the special manual skills previously involved in making satisfactory glass-to-metal seals and meeting the tight tolerances required. The process has led, not only to greater production yields and flexibility, but to higher consistency, standardisation and lifetimes of lamps. The development has enabled the company to compete successfully with overseas imports, increase market share and secure its position as technology leader in the sector.

Thermoteknix Systems receives the accolade for developing a miniature, thermal-imaging camera that clips onto nightvision goggles. The fusion of thermal-imaging with image-intensification produces an innovative detection device that can operate in darkness and extremely low light conditions.The device is used by military, surveillance and others performing defence and security activities.

In the International Trade category, Applied Acoustic Engineering was honoured for growing its export earnings by 145 per cent in the last three years. The company manufactures acoustic products used to position equipment under the sea, or to survey the uppermost sediment and rock layers of the sea bed. Its agent network has been expanded since 2011 to include Germany, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil and Australia.

Cambridge English Language Assessment – established in 1913 – now has 434 employees and is a department of Cambridge University. The organisation provides training, testing and certification in English language by offering Cambridge English qualifications and assessment materials to schools, universities, businesses and governments around the world. It also provides teacher development and educational consultancy services and is recognised for growing exports by 109 per cent over the last six years.

Cambridge Pixel was formed in 2007 and designs software and hardware technology for radar acquisition, processing and display systems. The company made inroads to global markets by becoming the supplier of choice for radar display systems on new and refurbished Royal Navy ships – a position that opened doors for the development of business in India, South Korea, and North America.

Cambrionix manufacture products that intelligently bulk charge and synchronise electronic devices that use the USB interface. Established in 2009, it was first to market with a system to provide fast charging, physical security and daily security updates to a group of devices and sells to OEMs (system integrators).

CRedit360 was a multi-finalist in the recent Business Weekly Awards. It produces software to help global companies manage their sustainability, supply chain, and environment, health and safety information. 
CRedit360 is a global company with operations in the UK, The Americas, Hong Kong, Australia, the Netherlands and South Africa and has a client retention rate of a stunning 98 per cent.

European SprayDry Technologies designs, manufactures and provides ongoing support of industrial-scale spray-drying equipment.It has grown export earnings by 2375 per cent in the last three years.

HiBreeds International, founded in 1998, is a hatching egg exporter for the UK poultry industry, acting as intermediary for UK farmers and international clients. The company is owned by Norfolk Nest Egg Ltd and was also a 2011 Queen’s Award winner for International Trade. HiBreeds has exported 100 per cent of its product since its establishment and currently has annual exports of 70 million hatching eggs per year. The Middle East is a major market and the company grew its export earnings by 478 per cent in the last three years.

Magnus Marine, based at the Hethel Engineering Centre, was stablished in 2003 and has manufactured marine shore power converters and energy storage systems in-house since 2008. The company’s overseas sales, headcount and profitability have all doubled during the last three years.

Medisafe UK designs and manufactures specialised products for decontaminating complex surgical instruments. The business was founded in 1990 and is UK owned with US and German subsidiaries supplying the market through a network of over 60 international distributors. It has grown exports 204 per cent over the last six years.

Porvair Filtration Group is a filtration and environmental technology specialist. It identifies specific target growth areas, such as bioscience, aerospace, energy and industrial, and has presented a clear formula for routes to market for each, investing in new products and diversity to both develop existing markets and clients, and to satisfy new client demands. Top export markets are the US, Korea and Germany.

Premier Exports London, based in Watford, specialises in the export of fast moving consumer goods, including its own brand of ‘Divine and Rifle’. Key markets are the Middle East and Africa but Premier also exports to around 24 countries that include China and the US.

Pumptronics supplies fuel dispensing equipment for use on retail service stations and commercial fuel bunkering depots and has only recently entered the export market; it has grown export earnings by 272 per cent in the last three years.

Quixant designs and manufactures advanced computer platforms, designed to drive gaming machines.

Rega Research designs and manufactures domestic high fidelity sound systems. Europe accounted for the largest share of overseas sales in 2014 at 41 per cent, followed by North America at 19 per cent. New markets include Chile, Peru and Ireland.

Seafast Logistics provides worldwide shipping and air freight solutions, individually designed to meet customer requirements and based in challenging locations. Originally serving the UK military, the company has based its strategy on servicing deliveries to intentionally problematic areas of the world.

Sepura is a global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of digital radios, systems and applications developed specifically for business and mission critical communications. With a global customer base of over one million users in 114 countries – and expanding rapidly – Sepura is served by a network of regional partners and has achieved market leadership in over 30 countries. CEO Gordon Watling said the Award recognised the company’s balanced growth strategy.

Anglian Water Services is the sole East of England winner of a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development. It has adopted a range of initiatives to improve the performance of the business while improving and the sustainability of customers, supply chain organisations and others within the water industry. It achieved the lowest leak-rate in the industry, was top-rated in Ofwat’s independent qualitative customer satisfaction surveys in 2013 and 2014 and was the first water company to achieve the Carbon Trust Water Standard. Through its Energy Initiative, it reduced annual energy bills by £15 million.

It offers pro-active water management services, involving smart-meter monitoring, leading to significantly reduced customer water consumption.
In partnership with other environmentally-conscious organisations, it improved its publicly-accessible land – three of its parks maintaining Green Flag status in 2014. It participates in numerous education and outreach programmes furthering environmentally-friendly objectives.

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