Forward thinking businesses, large and small, are being invited to enter the inaugural Innovation Awards 2020, being run by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.
2020 has been a challenging year for businesses, many of whom have had to adapt and change their way of working to overcome the restrictions caused by Covid-19.
The awards will celebrate and recognise businesses who have put innovation at the heart of what they do, creating new initiatives, supporting customers and leading best practice across the districts.
They are for businesses, based in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, who want to showcase how they are using innovative practices, cutting edge technology, sustainable solutions or delivering outstanding customer service.
Entering the awards is free and there are 11 categories in a range of sectors including food, retail and healthcare.
They are open to organisations of any size and will recognise businesses, teams and individuals. There is a category for SMEs and an opportunity to find the innovators of the future with an award for those aged 16 to 25.
Originally planned as a black-tie event for June this year, the Innovation Awards are leading by example and adopting a virtual format to adhere to current social distancing measures. Nominees and sponsors will still benefit from exclusive online networking opportunities and celebrate the innovation taking place across the districts.
Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “This is a very timely opportunity to showcase the great talent and work that is happening across Babergh and Mid Suffolk. Understanding and using innovative technology and solutions has never been more important in today’s business environment.”
Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “This has been an unprecedented year for businesses in our districts, and with these awards we want to recognise how innovation has been used to help businesses adapt, move forward and engage with customers.”
The nomination process is quick and easy and can be completed online in a matter of minutes – and there is no limit to the number of categories you can enter.
Nominations close on Sunday, September 20, and will be reviewed by a forum of judges made-up of business specialists and professionals.
The shortlisted finalists will be announced from September 25 in preparation for the virtual event on Tuesday, November 3.
The categories are:
- Shooting Star – Most innovative company
This award highlights businesses demonstrating successful innovation developing new opportunities and ways of creating value in a national and international arena.
- Rising Star – Young innovator of the year
An award for young people (16 – 25) who demonstrate outstanding innovation within a learning or workplace environment. NB This could be a new product, way of working or use of technology.
- Tomorrow’s World – Innovation in future technology
This award focuses on emerging and enabling technologies across all sectors of industry and areas of research – inspirational solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.
- Innovation in Customer Service
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.
- High Street Innovation
This award recognises successful implementation of innovative strategies, products, procedures or technology to promote successful trading on the high street.
- Innovation in Sustainability
This award is for any business that demonstrates a contribution to sustainability or energy-saving technologies that lower their carbon footprint.
- Innovation in Healthcare
This award recognises research, development or businesses using emerging technology within the animal and human health sector.
- Future Food – Future in sustainable food technologies
This award recognises innovation in the food and agriculture sector.
9. Innovation in Construction
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.
10. Most Innovative Micro Business
Celebrating a micro business (under nine employees) that has shown innovation in its business processes and products.
11. Most innovative SME
Recognising a small to mid-size enterprise (under 250 employees) that has shown innovation in its business processes and products.
Businesses and individuals can find out more and enter on the councils’ website