Queen’s Awards: Inventive South Yorkshire firms win top honours

Winners: The Ideas and Innovation team which develops new products for Gripple in Sheffield.
Winners: The Ideas and Innovation team which develops new products for Gripple in Sheffield.
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South Yorkshire business boosted its reputation for invention today when local companies were named winners of three out of the four Queen’s Awards for Innovation presented to Yorkshire firms this year.

Local companies also took four out of the Yorkshire region’s 16 international trade awards, announced on the Queen’s birthday - their best result in the prestigious Queen’s Award programme since before the downturn.

Top innovators were Sheffield-based construction products companies Ancon and Gripple, and Doncaster-based loading bay equipment specialist Transdek.

Trade awards went to Sheffield-based Diamond Dispersions and William Beckett Plastics and Rotherham-based CF Booth and Kiveton Park Steel.

Ancon managing director Stuart Maxwell speaking for all the South Yorkshire winners, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our innovation and commercial success has been recognised with a Queen’s Award.”

Ancon gained its first innovation award for developing technology that enables construction firms to reduce the costs and time required to lay post-tensioned concrete floors, while removing safety risks for workers.

Gripple secured its second innovation award and fourth Queen’s Award for products that cut the costs and time needed to install pipe work, cable trays, heating and ventilation systems in commercial and industrial buildings and for developing ways of reducing danger in buildings during earthquakes.

Transdek collects its second Queen’s Award for Innovation for developing a lifting system for moving heavy loads in and out of double decker trailer units at warehouses and stores, helping supermarket chains and others to radically cut transport costs.

Diamond Dispersions, set up five years ago to supply raw materials to printer cartridge manufacturers, gained its first Queen’s Award for International Trade after achieving 93 per cent growth in its overseas earnings in the last three years.

William Beckett Plastics has gained its second Queen’s Award after increasing sales to the US by 47 per cent over three years, while increasing sales to Germany by 116 per cent.

Rotherham-based independent metal recycling firm CF Booth has achieved export sales which account for 56 per cent of turnover - well ahead of industry sector averages – and increased overseas earnings by 81 per cent.

Kiveton Park Steel, which supplies bar and wire for the automotive, aerospace and defence industries, increased export sales by 50 per cent last year and exports have grown from 45 per cent to 60 per cent of total sales.