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It is not surprising that innovation is at the core of government plans to build the UK economy. It is a vital way for companies to create best-selling products that keep ahead of the market and to develop efficient processes. It’s also a great help in boosting their international reputation. And there is no better way to do that than to win a Queen’s Enterprise Award.
From creating tractors that revolutionised the world of agriculture to current life-saving discoveries in the field of health, Northern Ireland has always punched above its weight when it comes to innovation. That inventive spirit has never been more important. Innovation is at the heart of the Programme for Government’s plans to grow our economy and a key measure set out by Invest NI for a successful economic recovery.
Innovate NI has been established to guide the innovation process here and help Northern Irish businesses improve competitiveness, so that the best ideas are developed in the most productive way.
Innovation doesn’t just mean creating ground-breaking products, companies can achieve significant rewards by improving services and processes too. Innovation can also help companies build their profile around the world. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to apply for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
Introduced in 1966, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are considered among the most prestigious awards available to UK businesses. Their main aim is to recognise and encourage outstanding achievements in four main categories - Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility). For the hundreds who successfully apply each year, the benefits can be game-changing.
Why apply for the award
With the growing need to pursue new markets, a Queen’s Award for Enterprise acts as a passport to global recognition, establishing a company’s credentials for quality and innovation in the international market. The Queen’s Award emblem flag, which winners are entitled to use for marketing purposes, is an internationally recognised symbol that sets companies apart from their competition and enhances their global profile. It can be used for both marketing materials, such as advertisements, stationery and websites, and on product packaging as well.
Winning companies will be invited to a royal reception and presented with their award by one of the Queen’s representatives, such as the Lord Lieutenant. The awards are valid for five years and companies are entitled to fly the Queen’s Awards flag at their main office. They are also given an official certificate, known as a Grant of Appointment, and a commemorative crystal trophy.
Both nationally and internationally, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise hugely increases a company’s media coverage and helps raise its commercial value. Previous winners have reported a huge boost to staff morale and a sense of pride and confidence at all levels of their organisation as a result of winning this award.
Previous winners of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2021
This year, 205 UK businesses have been recognised for their contribution to international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity (through social mobility).
Five Northern Irish companies won awards in the categories of Innovation and International Trade. These winners are:
Businesses can apply for one of the following four award categories:
You will find full details at https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise/eligibility.
To apply for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise your organisation must be based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), file its company tax returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and is under its own management. It must also have at least two full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents and demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility. It can be a business or non-profit organisation.
How to apply
To apply online, please visit https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise.
Applications close in September 2021.