24 Apr 2014
Innovation and export awards for photonics firms across the UK.
The UK Government's Department of Business Innovation and Skills this week announced the winners of the 2014 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise - including innovation and export categories.
The more than 160 winning businesses include several operating in photonics-related fields, beside global corporations such as Jaguar Land Rover and Veolia Environmental Services and smaller enterprises. The photonics companies comprised Optasense, Renishaw, Optical Metrology Services and Scientifica.
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: "Companies that are growing, innovating and championing UK business overseas deserve the recognition that these awards bestow. With more than 100 international trade winners this year, it is clear that Britain is emerging as a leader in selling its quality services and products throughout the world."
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock added, "The fact that small businesses can share these honours with large household names illustrates that they are the backbone of our economy and deserve to be recognised as such. I would encourage every UK business to consider entering next year's historic 50th year."
Double winnerOptaSense, a QinetiQ company, based in Farnborough, a developer of Distributed Acoustic Sensing received both the Queen’s Awards for International Trade and for Engineering Innovation. DAS technology transforms standard fiber-optic cable into an array of thousands of virtual microphones along the fiber length. This enables users to acoustically sense what is happening around an asset.
OptaSense has significantly grown overseas sales earnings over the past three years and is now operating in more than 40 countries, most recently in China, Columbia and Iraq. OptaSense said it has benefited from QinetiQ’s heritage in signal processing expertise and its world class facilities for development of its distributed fiber sensing capabilities.
Innovation Award winnersRenishaw, Wootton-under-Edge, is a global company with expertise in measurement, motion control, spectroscopy and precision machining. It develop innovative products to improve clients’ operational performance encompassing manufacturing efficiency, product quality, research capabilities, including the efficacy of medical procedures.
Renishaw products are used for applications as diverse as machine tool automation, co-ordinate measurement, additive manufacturing, gauging, Raman spectroscopy, machine calibration, position feedback, CAD/CAM dentistry, shape memory alloys, large scale surveying, stereotactic neurosurgery, and medical diagnostics.Optical Metrology Services, Bishops Stortford, supplies pipe measurement products and services to the global oil and gas industry. The company offers a comprehensive range of internal and external dimensional measurement systems to help oil and gas companies reduce their pipe welding, fit up and laying costs, and minimize project risk. Scientifica, Uckfield, specializes in developing and providing innovative technology for the electrophysiology and imaging community. Scientifica products are developed in collaboration with leading researchers around the world to create high quality systems for demanding research needs including; two photon imaging, patch clamping and optogenetic studies. Its products, systems and applications include: micromanipulators, multiphoton imaging systems, electrophysiology rigs, microelectrode recording systems, and microscopes.
Renishaw buys US metrology specialist
Ahead of its winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation, Renishaw earlier this month announced its acquisition (price not disclosed) of Advanced Consulting & Engineering, Rochester Hills, MI, USA. ACE is a supplier of dimensional measurement products and services focused on the automotive industry. Renishaw said that the acquisition will support its sales of co-ordinate measuring machine probing systems and Equator gauges in the USA.