Dozens of UK manufacturers receive Queen’s Award for Innovation

Posted on 23 Apr 2018 by Jonny Williamson

More than 90 businesses across the UK have received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising their specific contribution to innovation and research.

Innovations Digital Innovation Stock - Image courtesy of Depositphotos.
This year’s Queen’s Awards winners are UK businesses leading the way in a broad range of industries – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

This year’s winners are UK businesses leading the way in a broad range of industries – from cloud computing and medical device manufacture, to pet health and sports broadcasting.

Out of 243 awarded winners, 92 awards were presented for innovation.

Six small and medium-sized companies – Powder Systems Ltd, Peak Scientific Instruments, Liquid Gas Equipment Ltd, JCB Power, Visions RT and Inciner8 Limited – all achieved double recognition, receiving awards for both Innovation and International Trade.

The winning businesses will also be able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.

Among the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation winners are:  

Harvey Water Softeners

The family-run manufacturing firm has been awarded for its innovation of the first compact, non-electric block softener.

Harvey Water Softeners is the UK’s largest manufacturer of compact water softeners, it sells thousands of softeners every year to households across the UK and around the world.

Founder of Harvey Water Softeners, Harvey Bowden, said: “This is amazing. When my wife Ann bought a water softener 43 years ago I never expected to end up with an award from HM The Queen.

Harvey Water Softeners is the UK’s largest manufacturer of compact water softeners – image courtesy of Harvey Water Softeners.

“It’s wonderful. Our first goal was just to earn a living, then to make a better water softener and finally to build the best water softener in the world.

“We have a wonderful family company of people here and it’s a pleasure to work with them all. Thank you, your Majesty!”

The award-winning HV3 solves the problem of limescale build up for the large proportion of UK homes located in hard water areas.

Invented by Harvey Bowden, it was the first water softener designed to fit under a kitchen sink with two cylinders that allowed for continuous softening.

As well as recognising the significance of this invention to the water softening industry, The Queens Award was awarded to Harvey on the back of the company’s recent impressive sales growth.

The Woking-based firm reported sales of £26.5m in the 12 months to December 2017, a 25% increase on the year before as a recent multi-million-pound R&D investment programme helped to increase factory output by a third (28%).

After posting double-digit growth for eight out of the last nine years, Harvey is forecasting sales more than £30m by the end of 2018, with a quarter of that coming from exports.

The Manufacturer MX Awards – Innovation

The TMMX Awards is the biggest annual celebration in the industry’s calendar, attracting more than 1000 attendees.

They are the culmination of a rigorous programme designed to provide valuable business improvement advice and feedback from an expert panel of judges.

Awarded to a company innovation within the business has been developed and applied to create significant growth, improved commercial performance, increased market share and operational effectiveness.

This award does not focus on one single innovation but looks at how a culture of innovation has been created, generating new or improved products, services and processes that successfully meet the changing needs of the customer and business.

Enter now! Entry deadline is the 22 June.

For further information, click here.

Williams Advanced Engineering

The company has been awarded for successfully transferring technology into commercial applications from designing, developing and delivering the batteries for all the cars racing in the Formula E championship.

Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater racing series – image courtesy of Williams Advanced Engineering.

Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater racing series. The technology has relevance beyond the automotive and motorsport sectors in both energy and power applications.

Williams Advanced Engineering has powered all the cars on the ABB FIA Formula E grid since its inception in 2014.

Now, in its fourth season, the Formula E championship has benefited from technology developed by Williams Advanced Engineering that has seen a 99.8% reliability record in races from the Company’s batteries.

Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “We are honoured to have been recognised by Her Majesty with this award for the industry-leading work of Williams Advanced Engineering in delivering a world-first that will light the way for future sustainable transport.

“I pay tribute to our team that has powered Formula E from the beginning at such a high level of innovation, performance, service and reliability.”


The South Yorkshire based manufacturer of innovative trailer, loading bay and lifting solutions has been awarded for its pioneering Fixed Double Deck Wedge Trailer.

Initially created to develop and sell loading equipment for the distribution sector in the UK, Transdek has grown to offer a full range of trailer and loading bay patented products with the aim of offering more efficient and sustainable road freight through cost, fuel, and space saving technologies.

Transdek has grown to offer a full range of trailer and loading bay patented products – image courtesy of Transdek.

The 4.95m Wedge Trailer offers a 52-pallet capacity with the ability to accommodate taller loads, such as roll cages or pallets (up to 1862mm high on both decks), due to a distinctive kink in the body (patent granted).

This unique body design adds additional height at the neck to accommodate full height loads, allowing for extra volume and payload compared to standard powered deck alternatives.

The Wedge Trailer can also be fitted with V-Glide sash type rear doors, another patented feature developed by Transdek, for faster and safer loading and unloading of goods. Temperature controlled options are available with up to a 50-pallet capacity.

The award-winning Wedge Trailer is helping towards road sustainability goals, as it has the capability to carry up to 25% more load volume and up to 40% more payload (up to an additional 7 tonnes) compared to conventional double deckers.

In real terms, if the UK’s fleet of powered double deckers were all to benefit from this extra payload capacity, it could save over 150 million road miles per year, which equates to almost 330 return trips to the moon. The fixed deck of the Wedge Trailer also offers increased reliability, due to having no moving parts, and a longer lifespan over conventional models.

Fluvial Innovations 

Fluvial Innovations has been awarded for its flood defence system, Floodstop, which protects properties against the cost and misery which arises from flooding.

Designed as a cost-effective alternative to sandbags, the Floodstop flood barrier was the brainchild of founder and director of Fluvial Innovations Simon Phelps while he was studying for a degree in computer-aided product design at Bournemouth University.

Fluvial Innovations has been awarded for its flood defence system, Floodstop.

On graduating in 2005, Simon initially worked alongside Bournemouth University to commercialise the patented technology and also spent six months studying entrepreneurship in the USA as a Kauffman Global Scholar.

From launching the product in 2008, Floodstop has since been sold throughout the world protecting private households, businesses, governmental bodies and vital infrastructures.

Its prestigious client list includes nuclear sites, San Francisco public utilities, The UK Environment Agency, Coca Cola, Warsaw Metro, The National Trust and The RAF.

The modular flood barrier has proved an effective and re-useable solution to sandbags and can be rapidly assembled by one person with ease.

The barrier works as a series of interlocking plastic units which self-fill with flood water and, together with interlocking keys, secure it to the ground so it can withstand water flow.

Founder and managing director, Simon Phelps commented: “We are delighted to be awarded such an incredible and highly esteemed award.  This is a huge achievement for Fluvial Innovations.

“We are proud not only of our commercial success but also in knowing that we are providing a solution to the enormous misery, disruption and cost resulting from flooding.”

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