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Royal stamp of approval for UK’s most innovative companies

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise gives the royal stamp of approval to UK companies taking the lead in everything from Formula E racing car batteries to fraud detection software

It’s as close as businesses can get to a knighthood – and the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise has once again recognised some of Britain’s most exciting companies.

Launched in 1965, the awards scheme gives the royal stamp of approval to small and medium UK-based businesses, with categories in innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.

It is regarded as Britain’s highest accolade for business success and is recognised across the world as a mark of excellence.

With the release of the most recent edition on April 21 – to coincide with Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday – we take a look at some of the winners in the innovation category, featuring companies taking the lead in everything from Formula E racing car batteries to fraud detection software.

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SkyDemon

Based in Milborne Port, Somerset, independent software company SkyDemon specialises in aeronautical data design aimed at easing the stress on pilots.

It was recognised with a Queen’s Award for its latest software, which creates vector maps and improves aviation safety with a simplified presentation of aeronautical information.

SkyDemon is a trading name for Divelements Limited, the CEO of which, Tim Dawson, began developing the tech used by the company today in 2009.

Endomag

Founded in 2007 by professors from the University College London and the University of Houston, Endomag seeks to avoid the concerns surrounding ionising radiation by using safe magnetic fields to power their medical devices.

Royal recognition followed its development of novel surgical tools used to more accurately remove breast cancer.

Using expertise in magnetic sensing and nanotechnology, the company has created a “minimally invasive surgical guidance system” in which surgeons can locate early-stage breast cancers that can’t be felt, with greater precision.

The device was launched in Europe in 2013 and has been used in more than 30,000 procedures throughout 300 hospitals in 30 countries. More recently, it has been rolled out across the US and Canada.

Endomag, which has labs in Cambridge and Austin, Texas, trades in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australasia – and is in the process of acquiring market authorisation to sell globally.

Facit Homes

Also founded in 2007, Facit Homes works out of its London base with the aim of applying modern digital manufacturing techniques to the housing market.

The Queen’s Awards’ judges rewarded the company’s use of a central digital design model, which improves the production of every component within a home.

Special praise was reserved for its advanced structural system, the Facit Chassis, a production process that was described as “exceptionally efficient and environmentally respectful”.

Featurespace

The Cambridge-based multinational company has become the world’s leading provider of machine learning technology for fraud and risk management since being founded in 2008 by Dave Excell.

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Featurespace’s ARIC platform creates a standardised behaviour pattern and then identifies errors and anomalies, allowing it to combat fraud attacks on the go.

This isn’t the first award the company has won this year, either, rather the latest in a long list including The FT1000 Fastest Growing Companies Europe, Tech City’s Future Fifty and European Business Award’s “Ones to Watch”.

Resilience Communications

Providing systems engineering solutions to the defence and public sector markets, the Cornwall-based company received the Queen’s Award for its latest radio device.

The Resilience Tactical Voice Bridge matches different radio interfaces automatically, making them instantly compatible. It has improved multi-national military communications and is used by 10 NATO countries, plus Austria and Australia.

Resilience Communications, which was also granted the international trade award after growing export sales by 1,300% over the past three years, makes a point of committing to high ethical standards and maintaining consistent environmental and community awareness.

Williams Advanced Engineering

Formula E, Queen's Awards
Williams has developed batteries for Formula E racing cars

The technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group – which also includes the Williams Martini Racing Formula One team – was recognised by the Queen for its battery-powered cars in Formula E, the world’s first electric racing series.

Based in Wantage, Oxfordshire, the company’s specialist areas include aerodynamics, thermodynamics, lightweight structures and low volume product deliver, in addition to operational performance consulting.