The winners of the Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council Innovations Awards have been revealed.
The awards celebrate and recognise how businesses use innovative solutions, approaches and technologies to reach new customers, become more sustainable or grow their business.
The 22 finalists gathered at the awards event at Wherstead Park last night (Thursday, October 20) to celebrate the winners for each of the eight categories.
The evening culminated with the “Business Innovator of the Year” award, presented to Long Melford-based Queue Technology.
Headline sponsor LDH (La Doria), who selected the winner, commented that Queue Technology not only demonstrated innovation throughout the pandemic but also made a real impact to local communities in the districts.
Queue Technology also scooped the gold Shooting Star award for demonstrating successful innovation with the development of a range of innovative solutions such as the Virtual Highstreet, Queue Link and Queue Pay.
Palgrave-based Natural Building Systems Ltd were winners in two categories: Tomorrow’s World and Construction Innovation for the development of a ground-breaking sustainable alternative to existing construction methods by combining low embodied carbon materials with digital manufacturing and other modern methods of construction.
The award for Customer Service Innovation was presented to Events Under Canvas, based in Capel St Mary, for their digital first approach for customers including online floor plan designs allowing each customer to create their own bespoke glamping experience.
The High Street Innovation award went to Breakout Long Melford for the creation of a business and community hub supporting businesses and cultural activities in the town.
The Sustainability Innovation Award that recognised a contribution to sustainability or technologies that lower carbon footprint was awarded to Elmswell-based DXB Pump & Power Ltd for their low carbon solution of refurbishing rather than replacing of portable pumping equipment for the UK Environment Agency.
Stowmarket-based Virtually There Studio CIC scooped the gold award for Healthcare Innovation for their use of immersive media to create virtual ecotherapy environments for those who could otherwise not access conventional ecotherapy – a formal type of therapeutic treatment which involves doing outdoor activities in nature.
The Rising Star Award – that recognises young people who demonstrate outstanding innovation within a learning or workplace environment – was presented to Helen Su from Modece Architects, in Stowmarket. Helen joined the firm as part of a six-month Kickstart scheme, developing her skills to secure a place within the new Cambridge University apprenticeship programme.
Commenting on the winners, David Busby, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for finance, assets and investment said “Congratulations to all the winners of the 2022 Innovation Awards. The evening was a wonderful celebration of the forward-thinking businesses we have in the districts and demonstrates how many businesses in our districts are championing new ways of working to grow their business and support their customers.”
The Innovations were hosted by Tim Robinson from Tech East, with key notes speeches from C J Green, from Brave Goose, and Jan Stringer, from Innovate UK KTN.
Harry Richardson, Mid Suffolk District Council, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth added: “Business innovation has never been so important, and it is wonderful that our awards were supported and sponsored by some of the leading innovative businesses in the region. I would like to thank all our sponsors, judges and speakers for making the Babergh and Mid Suffolk Innovation Awards such a success.”
The 2022 Innovation Awards are being sponsored by some leading innovative organisations in the region including HSBC, University of Suffolk, Sackers, Burland Technology, University of Essex and Suffolk Building Control Group.
There were 71 entries to the eight categories in the Innovation Awards, judged by industry experts including Gups Jagpal (University of Suffolk), Rob Singh (University of Essex), Sharon Perry (Innovate UK KTN), Tim Robinson (Tech East) and Anna Nadolna (Tech Nation).
2022 Innovation Awards – Winners and Finalists
Business Innovator of the Year (Sponsored by LDH (La Doria))
Shooting Star (Sponsored by Brave Goose)
Recognising businesses demonstrating successful innovation developing new opportunities and ways of creating value in a national and international arena.
Winner: Queue Technology
Events under Canvas
Sniffe & Likkit Ltd
Rising Star (Sponsored by HSBC)
Recognising young people (16 to 25) who demonstrate outstanding innovation within a learning or workplace environment. This could be a new product, way of working or use of technology.
Winner: Helen Su – Modece Architects
Ella Gill – Fox Yard bar Ltd
Josh Partridge – Sell Beyond
Tomorrow’s World (Sponsored by University of Essex)
Recognising emerging and enabling technologies across all sectors of industry and areas of research, recognising inspirational solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.
Winner: Natural Building Systems Ltd
Customer Service Innovation (Sponsored by Mid Suffolk District Council)
Recognising businesses that demonstrate the best application of new methods, practice and technology to improve the customer experience.
Winner: Events Under Canvas
Breakout Long Melford
West View IT
High Street Innovation (Sponsored by Babergh District Council)
Recognising the successful implementation of innovative strategies, products, procedures, or technology to promote trading on the high street.
Winner: Breakout Long Melford
Baked by Humphries
Sustainability Innovation (Sponsored by Sackers)
Recognising businesses that demonstrate a contribution to sustainability or energy-saving technologies that lower their carbon footprint.
Winner: DXB Pump & Power Ltd
Burland Technology Solutions Ltd
Healthcare Innovation (Sponsored by University of Suffolk)
Recognising research, development or businesses using emerging technology within the animal and human health sector.
Winner: Virtually There Studio CIC
Therapy Gyms Ltd
James White Drinks Ltd
Construction Innovation (Sponsored by Burland Technology)
Recognising innovation in construction projects, materials or systems, putting in place creative solutions that result in sustainable homes, workplaces and infrastructure for the future.
Winner: Natural Building Systems Ltd
Caribbean Blinds UK Ltd
Modece Property Ltd
Obee CIC (Orchard Barn Environmental Education)