Maidstone-based GP Acoustics took the top prize at the manufacturers’ organisation’s annual awards ceremony last night after also claiming a category win for Innovative Operating Practices.
GP Acoustics, a subsidiary of KEF International, gained its first win for excellence in both product and process innovation, just pipping runners-up Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems at the post.
It was what sponsor company, Infor, described as “bravery in innovation” that gave GP Acoustics the edge it needed to take the overall prize at EEF’s 2012 awards ceremony, which was hosted in London at the Paisterers Hall and attended by around 350 industry representatives and supporting partners.
Long time business journalist Declan Curry, was master of ceremonies for the evening and started proceedings by reminding attendees of the critical role of collaboration in bringing about business success for manufacturing. He spoke of the “combination that will take Britain forward” in the partnerships being forged between the scientific and business communities in the UK – referring in particular to the Centre for Nanotechnology at Imperial College London.
Picking up this theme of communication and collaboration between the academic and industrial communities Professor Steve Evan of Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing, who was also chairman of the EEF awards judging panel spoke of the crucial role manufacturers play in “making the feasible possible” and of their ability to bring new technologies and “products that allow us to escape from drudgery within the reach of many with quality and efficiency.”
EEF chief executive also spoke at the opening and close of the awards ceremony to congratulate all regional winners, runners up and finalists. A particular welcome was extended to participants in the Apprentice Awards and Young Engineering Student Awards categories with an emphasis on the importance of nurturing talent and of investing in people forming a strong theme throughout the evening.
A full list of runners up and winners across all categories follows:
Enterprise Awards (sponsored by Santander)
The Business Growth Award
Winner: Rapiscan Systems
Runner up: Responsive Engineering Group
The Skills & Training Award
Runner up: Foster Refrigerator
Innovation Awards (sponsored by JAM Recruitment)
The Innovative Operating Practices Award
Winner: GP Acoustics UK
Runner up: Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems
The Innovative People Management Award
Winner: Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station
Runner up: Novar ED&S
Environmental Award (sponsored by ENER-G)
The Environmental Efficiency Award
Winner: Johnson Tiles
Runner up: J&J Ormerod
The Climate Change Opportunity Award
Runner up: Alumet Systems
Export Award (sponsored by UKTI)
Outstanding Export Award
Runner up: Pacepacker Services
Apprentice Awards (sponsored by EAL)
The Outstanding Achievement by a First Year Apprentice Award
Winner: Samantha Ball (MBDA)
Runner up: Alex Simmonds(Messier Services)
The Outstanding Achievement by a Final Year Apprentice Award
Winner: Michael Williams (Severn Trent Water)
Runner up: Stephanie Oswald (BAE Systems Global Combat Systems)
Young Engineering Student Award (sponsored by Rolls Royce)
Outstanding Achievement by a Young Engineering Student
Exemplar: Ciarn Parkin (St Leonards Roman Catholic School)
Exemplar: Scott Ellis (Framewellgate School)
Exemplar: Vishal Bains (Chellaston Accademy)
The winner and runners up in the 2011EEF Photography Competition were also announced at the ceremony and the winning images are displayed in a special feature in the February issue of TM. The featured image at the lead of this news story was taken at Sheffield Forgemasters and was awarded the prize for best image in the Amateur Photographer category.