Telensa lights up Queen’s Awards with brilliant double
Cambridge lighting technology pioneer Telensa has won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for its innovation and export successes.
In a record-breaking year, 23 East of England businesses spanning all manner of industries, hi-tech and life sciences segments were today unveiled as jewels in the crown for UK international trade.
Other hi-tech and life sciences stars in Cambridge honoured on the Queen’s birthday include cyber security innovator Darktrace, fraud-busting business Featurespace, lifestyle technology front runner Activeinsights, sensors sensation Zettlex, electronics components manufacturer Cambridge Integrated Circuits, medical trailblazer Endomag and industrial innovator Global Inkjet Systems.
Stand-out performers in the East of England bestowed honours also featured Artemida Pharma, a Stevenage-based drug development consultancy, and FAI Automotive in Leighton Buzzard which sells high-end automotive products globally.
The 2018 Queen’s Awards demonstrate why this region is so important to the UK economy, generating multimillion pound revenue for the Treasury while underpinning thousands of jobs.
Double winner Telensa hasn’t exactly been hiding its capability under a bushel but its Queen’s Award successes will certainly provide a light bulb moment for the company and those ignorant of its central capability to smart city projects.
The Innovation category success marks Telensa’s development of a version of its street lighting control node which combines its patented Ultra Narrow Band wireless communication system with an in-house developed, American National Standard Institute approved electricity meter.
The ability for streetlight owners to accurately monitor electricity use in real time has created an incentive to introduce power saving technologies and for cities and power suppliers to work together to negotiate improved terms.
Through introducing LED dimmable lights and having active control over the lights through Telensa’s systems, lighting providers have achieved savings of up to 60 per cent in energy costs.
The structure of the markets in the US and Australia, where most street lights are utility-owned, particularly benefit from this technology. To date this version of Telensa’s control node has been installed in over 200,000 streetlights in the US.
In terms of its International Trade Award, the Queen’s Award Office notes that the company is currently ramping up its international sales, having already demonstrated significant success in the US.
Municipalities around the world are beginning to expand the number of connected assets and sensors, for analysing traffic, air quality, waste or drainage. Telensa’s low-cost wireless street lighting network with its open interfaces provides the ways to enable cities to achieve this affordably. Overseas sales have been hoisted by £9 million – a growth of over 739 per cent.
International Trade winner Darktrace is a global darling due to its world-leading cyber defence technology. It was founded in Cambridge in 2013 by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge alongside senior experts from the UK government's security services.
The vision was to change the way cyber security is approached by applying the biological principles of the human immune system to protect enterprises from advanced cyber-threats, using artificial intelligence. Using its unique unsupervised machine learning, Darktrace has identified 63,500 serious, in-progress threats across all network types.
The company has pursued an aggressive, global growth strategy, driving rapid adoption of their technology in multiple markets and industries across the world. With over 5,000 deployments across 97 countries in every industry, the Enterprise Immune System is rapidly becoming the de facto artificial intelligence-based cyber defence solution. Over the last three years overseas sales have grown by 1,826 per cent.
Featurespace wins an award for Innovation. The company is currently recruiting 100 top tech hands in Cambridge and the US to cash in on global demand.
Its Adaptive Behavioural Analytics machine learning fraud management software platform called ARIC was first identified as a solution as the online gaming industry was constantly under attack by fraudsters.
Traditional methods of combating these attacks were not proving effective. ARIC is the world's first software platform to identify fraud attacks as they occur, whilst at the same time reducing the number of genuine customers who are incorrectly blocked. The system learns individual customer's digital behaviours, accurately predicts their ongoing interactions and spots anomalous behaviours.
As it does not rely on knowledge of past fraud attacks and works in real time to prevent fraud, it is highly effective. ARIC has now been adopted in financial services. One High Street bank estimates annual revenue savings of £11.5m since its introduction.
International Trade winner Zettlex (UK) designs and manufactures sensors for high-accuracy position and speed measurement in extreme environments.
The sensors can measure 1,000 points across the width of a human hair, even if the sensor is dirty, freezing, hot, in the upper atmosphere or the depths of the ocean.
Sectors include aerospace, defence, medical, industrial and petrochemical. The business has 400 customers in 45 markets including the United States, Norway, Turkey, Germany and South Korea.
Endomagnetics Ltd, trading as Endomag, wins a Queen’s Award for Innovation. It is developing a clinical platform that uses safe magnetic fields to power diagnostic and therapeutic devices, avoiding the safety, workflow and availability concerns of ionising radiation.
The innovation for which the company has been given an Award is a minimally invasive surgical guidance system. A lymph node identifying magnetic tracer known as Sienna, and a metallic tumour marker Magseed, can be located accurately by a surgeon in theatre with a handheld detector called Sentimag. This removes the need for radioactive isotopes during procedures, and in the case of breast lumpectomy wire localisation, thereby improving workflow, lowering costs and enhancing patient comfort and quality of care.
Designed originally for the management of breast cancer, the platform has since extended to include prostate, melanoma, head and neck, and gynaecological cancers. With 18 granted patents and 35 pending the company is a prolific innovator.
Artemida Pharma in Stevenage wins an International Trade Award. Established in April 2014 by a small group of individuals with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry generally and specifically in the delivery of expert solutions for an international client base, it has successfully collaborated to take eight drug products from the nonclinical phase of drug development into the clinical phase, representing major progress for its clients.
The operational model works by identifying the needs of the client and accessing the necessary skills to meet those needs from its outsourced network. This model has proven to be very successful with international sales more than doubling and profits increasing by two-thirds. Almost all the company’s sales are from overseas, especially Switzerland, South Korea and Japan.
FAI Automotive Plc in Leighton Buzzard also wins the Queens Award for International Trade. Founded in 1969, the company is a leading independent supplier of aftermarket automotive replacement parts for domestic and light commercial vehicles.
It is a well known aftermarket brand known for high quality products and service for customers. It sells over 20,000 different parts across 15 product lines through distributors to over 50 countries worldwide and is developing it's online presence to sell to a growing digital customer base.
Overseas sales have grown sharply year on year over three years from £6.4 million to £9.9m – a total growth of 53.9 per cent. Overseas sales as a percentage of total sales have also grown from 28.7 per cent to 37.7 per cent over the period. The company has initially focused on Europe and its top five current markets are Poland, Romania, Portugal, Ireland and Italy.
Other East of Englands winners included AC Plc in Bedford, a specialist façade & interiors contractor; Airline Component Services in Braintree which operates jointly and sells, exchanges and loans aircraft parts for rotable flying controls; Harlow-based Astro Lighting Holdings which designs and makes contemporary lighting for high-end domestic and hospitality projects and Bamboo Distribution in Waltham Abbey which specialises in the recovery, refurbishment, distribution, fulfilment and recycling of consumer electronic devices.
They are joined in today’s victory parade by Cambridge Integrated Circuits which develops and makes electronic components for measuring the precise position of moving parts inside machines without contact; GAMA Healthcare in Watford which specialises in manufacturing antimicrobial products with an emphasis on wet wipes; Cambridge-based Global Inkjet Systems; Hanningfield Process Systems in Essex which designs and makes process machinery for the pharmaceutical industry and iCandy World in Biggleswade which has designed a unique push chair.
Other East of England winners are Kestrel Liner Agencies at Stansted which provides bespoke and specialist international logistics solutions to markets of the Caribbean, the Americas, the Middle East Gulf and Israel, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; Lintbells in Hitchin which is a pet products innovator; Lintott Control Systems in Norwich which specialises in manufacture and aftercare of packaged water and wastewater treatment systems; Peli BioThermal in Leighton Buzzard which provides the life sciences industry with thermal protection packaging solutions for the safe transport of pharmaceuticals, clinical trials, diagnostics, tissue, vaccines and blood supplies; Photocentric in Peterborough which manufactures 3D LCD printers and patented photopolymer packs for making stamps; and construction company Willmott Dixon in Letchworth which won a Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity.
Willmott Dixon’s Award is something of a rarity. The company provides a careers advice, skills development and mentoring programme to prepare young people for work and has offered accessible structured work experience since 2011.
It aims to enhance the life chances of 10,000 young people by 2020 compared to a 2012 baseline, and statistics have been provided which prove that this goal is on track to being achieved.
By means of the Crown Estate's ‘Total Contribution’ methodology, it has been calculated that for every £1 Willmott Dixon invested in the programme, a social return of £5.70 was delivered. Client feedback has highlighted the value clients place on supporting social mobility.
• Image courtesy – Telensa