The Guildford Innovation Awards, organised by Guildford Borough Council, Surrey Research Park and The University of Surrey took place yesterday, celebrating the incredible and innovative achievements of a range of organisations and individuals across the borough of Guildford. The online ceremony was hosted by Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS, eminent Professor of Physics and Public Engagement in Science.
Most Outstanding Innovation Award, selected from all category winners, was Securium, a cyber intelligence company which provides online safety technologies to protect vulnerable people online. Securium was also crowned winner of the Emerging Technologies Award.
Runner Up for Most Outstanding Innovation was NVH Global, which in partnership with the University of Surrey, has commercialised an innovative and sustainable process to produce green Hydrogen from water, reducing energy consumption for waste water treatment.
A Response to Covid-19 Award was added to this year’s categories in recognition of the tremendous efforts made by organisations to quickly pivot to help combat the virus and develop tests or adapt their business to survive by, for example, embracing technologies or taking delivery online. The winner of this category was Smart Separations, creator of ViraTeq™, a nanotech-based antimicrobial coating for a wide range of surfaces, proven to destroy 99.999% of microbes and viruses, including Covid-19. ViraTeq™ is also used in Smart Separations’ revolutionary Gino™ air purifying units to destroy airborne microbes.
Cressive DX won the Digital Marketing Award for its creation of The Scorecard for tracking and analysing online paid marketing campaigns; Virtual Cath Lab was winner of the Innovation in Healthcare Award for its non-invasive imaging service, enabling cardiologists to diagnose and treat potentially lethal coronary artery disease in one visit, without hospitalisation.
Hand made, frozen Indian food organisation, Mandira’s Kitchen won the Innovation in Retail Award for its significant growth over the last year whilst also pushing boundaries in terms of its recipes, packaging and support for the local community. Real Media Now was winner of the Innovation in the Creative Industries Sector Award in recognition of the engaging way it enables gamers to interact with advertisers; and Streeva was named winner of the Innovation in the Voluntary & Charity Sector Award for its role as technical lead in an industry initiative to automate Gift Aid in all donation methods, leveraging its Swiftaid product to reduce the £700m that goes unclaimed by charities each year.
Instant Swim scooped the Shooting Star Award for its sustainable training swimwear business, which uses recycled fabrics and ocean waste including plastic bottles and fish nets; and Eduspace won the Young Business Award for its Kidpreneur Club which has been rolled out to a number of primary schools in Guildford to introduce young children to entrepreneurship, life-development skills and money management
The judges noted that the level of innovation across all categories was outstanding this year, with a very high number of entries. As a result they nominated several highly commended companies. These include Peoplespace for the Innovation in Healthcare Award, Vidiia for the Response to Covid-19 Award and James Buck at Roome for the Shooting Star Award.
The awards were judged by Cllr Gordon Jackson, Chair of the Innovation Board at Guildford Borough Council, Louise Punter, Chief Executive of Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Rob Dunford, Director for Business Delivery, EM3, Omar Ebeid, Founder of Zeal and 2019 Shooting Star Award winner and Dr Malcolm Parry, CEO of Surrey Research Park.
Cllr Gordon Jackson said, “These awards have shown yet again that Guildford is home to the very best of innovation and entrepreneurship. They have also highlighted determination of these organisations to develop and grow in the most difficult circumstances. Huge congratulations to them all.”
Caroline Fleming, Interim Co-Director Innovation Strategy and Head of Incubation and Enterprise at the University of Surrey, said: “The high standard and number of award entries this year was phenomenal. Congratulations to the winners, it is a great accolade; the competition was stiff. The highly commended and finalists are all worthy winners. We are committed to helping our business community in Guildford and are very proud that there was a strong representation from the University through our Student Enterprise programme and SETsquared Surrey Incubator.”
Dr Malcolm Parry OBE, CEO of Surrey Research Park was surprised on the night by being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging his significant contribution to Surrey Research Park and the science park community over the last 40 years. He left an academic post at the University of Surrey in 1981 to plan, develop and subsequently manage Surrey Research Park, which currently generates over £1billion of economic activity annually. Co-founder and former Chairman of UKSPA (the UK Science Park Association), Malcolm is also an expert on science and technology parks as instruments in economic development for UNESCO and United Nations Economic Commission to Europe.
Dr Malcolm Parry, CEO of Surrey Research Park said: “I am truly touched by all the kind words that members of the business community have said about me. My working life, which is soon to come to an end, has been such a pleasure and I am so grateful to have received this award.”