The winners of the Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council Innovations Awards have been announced at a virtual ceremony.
The awards recognised and celebrated organisations who are thinking outside the box and finding new ways to reach customers, becoming more sustainable or growing their business.
Almost 30 businesses were shortlisted in 11 categories in a range of sectors including food, retail, technology, and customer service.
The Shooting Star award, for most innovative company was presented to Stowmarket based Halo Service Solutions, while Challs International Ltd in Hadleigh were awarded Most Innovative SME.
One of the stars of the evening was Modece Architects Ltd in Stowmarket who received three awards on the night: Most Innovative Microbusiness, Innovation in Sustainability and Innovation in Construction.
The Tomorrow’s World award for technology was presented to Acorn Bots Ltd from Fressingfield and the Innovation in Healthcare award winner was the Personal Training Centre in Sudbury.
The Innovation in Customer Service award and High Street Innovation awards were presented to West View IT Ltd (Stowmarket) and Ferguson’s Deli (Hadleigh) respectively, while Yum Yum Tree Fudge based in Woolpit was presented with the Future Food award.
The Rising Star award, which recognised the regions young innovator aged between 16-25 was presented jointly to Chloe Davis and Sophie Tapscott for their work and commitment to supporting other young people at The Mix in Stowmarket.
The event was originally planned as a black-tie event but with COVID-19 restrictions, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils decided to take an innovative approach and hold the awards virtually instead.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Paul Graham with the keynote speech delivered by Thea Goodluck, Tech Nation’s East of England Entrepreneur Engagement Manager.
Cllr Michael Holt, Babergh District Council, cabinet member for economic growth said: “I would like to congratulate all the winners from our first Innovation Awards, especially in a year that has been so difficult for many businesses. The standard of entries was very high and demonstrates the incredible number of businesses we have in our district who are pushing the boundaries in their chosen field.”
Cllr Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council, cabinet member for economic growth said: “This has been an incredibly challenging year for businesses, and we felt it was more important than ever to recognise business innovation even if we couldn’t host the event in person. I would like to thank all our sponsors and judges who have contributed to make our first Innovation Awards a success.”
The winners of each award received a prize contributed by the category sponsor made up of a combination of a cash grant as well as bespoke professional advice, support, or training.
Sponsors of the 2020 Innovation Awards include, Orbital Media, EO Charging, Larking Gowen, Scrutton Bland, the University of Suffolk, Central Suffolk Chamber, Norse, Business Growth Coaches Network Ltd, Marshall Wolfe, Omega Ingredients and Hudson Group.
The awards were judged by some of the leading names in innovation and creativity in the county including Tim Robinson (TechEast), Justine Paul (Suffolk Market Events), Professor Gurpreet Jagpal (University of Suffolk) and Julian Munson (NALEP) as well as Babergh District councillor Michael Holt and Mid Suffolk District councillor Gerard Brewster.
The event, which was free to attend, included speed networking as well as workshops on small business advice, guidance for start-ups and international trade were presented by Scrutton Bland, Suffolk Chamber and Innovation Labs respectively.
2020 Innovation Awards – Winners and Finalists
- Shooting Star: Most innovative company, sponsored by Scrutton Bland – This award highlights businesses demonstrating successful innovation developing new opportunities and ways of creating value in a national and international arena. · Winner: Halo Service Solutions · Finalists: Dough&Co Woodfired Pizza, Personal Training Centre.
- Rising Star: Young innovator of the year, sponsored by University of Suffolk – An award for young people (16 – 25) who demonstrate outstanding innovation within a learning or workplace environment. · Winner: Chloe Davis and Sophie Tapscott @ The Mix · Finalists: Ellis Heighes @ Queue Technology Ltd, Piers Brady @ Orbital Media.
- Tomorrow’s World – Innovation in future technology, sponsored by Marshall Wolfe – This award focuses on emerging and enabling technologies across all sectors of industry and areas of research – inspirational solutions for tomorrow’s challenges. · Winner: Acorn Bots Ltd · Finalists: CAP Certified Ltd, Halo Service Solutions.
- Innovation in Customer Service, sponsored by Larking Gowen – This award will be given to a sole trader or company that demonstrates the best application of new methods, practice and technology to improve the customer experience. This award recognises the best practice in delivering innovation in customer experience. · Winner: West View IT Limited · Finalists: Andrew’s Quality Butchers, Shotley Premier Stores and Post Office.
- High Street Innovation, sponsored by Central Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils – This award recognises successful implementation of innovative strategies, products, procedures or technology to promote successful trading on the high street. · Winner: Ferguson’s Deli · Finalists: Battleburys at the Kings Head, Duck In Boots.
- Innovation in Sustainability, sponsored by EO Charging – This award is for any business that demonstrates a contribution to sustainability or energy-saving technologies that lower their carbon footprint. · Winner: Modece Architects Ltd · Finalists: Carbon Charter – Groundwork East, Challs International Ltd.
- Innovation in Healthcare, sponsored by Orbital Media – This award recognises research, development or businesses using emerging technology within the animal and human health sector. · Winner: Personal Training Centre · Finalists: Guided Innovation, Gymophobics, Sudbury.
- Future Food: Future in sustainable food technologies, sponsored by Omega Ingredients – This award recognises innovation in the food and agriculture sector. · Winner: Yum Yum Tree Fudge · Finalists: Acorn bots Ltd, Applewood Acres Market Garden.
- Innovation in Construction, sponsored by Norse Group – This award is in recognition of Innovation in construction projects, materials or systems, putting in place creative solutions that result in sustainable homes, workplaces and infrastructure for the future. · Winner: Modece Architects Ltd · Finalists: Gorniak & Mckechnie Ltd Architects and Designers
- Most Innovative Micro Business, sponsored by Business Growth Coaches Network Ltd – Celebrating a micro business (under 9 employees) that has shown innovation in its business processes and products. · Winner: Modece Architects Ltd · Finalists: AVW Controls Ltd, EO Escape Rooms Ltd.
- Most innovative SME, sponsored by Hudson Group – Recognising a small to mid-size enterprise (under 250 employees) that has shown innovation in its business processes and products. · Winner: Challs International Ltd · Finalists: Halo Service Solutions, Orbital Media