This year's Queen's Awards for Enterprise, published on Saturday to mark the Queen’s birthday, celebrates a bumper crop of British SMEs.
This year's list, which honours outstanding UK companies and encourages the development of British business, contains 209 business awards – up from 156 winners last year – including FTSE companies and private businesses.
The core of it remains the dozens of often unsung SMEs for which the awards provide important recognition.
Winners of the 2012 Queen's Awards for Enterprise include Plymouth luxury bed maker Vi-Spring, which hand-crafts all its products using traditional methods and employs around 150 people, and London-based Shazam Entertainment. Shazam’s smartphone app lets consumers identify details, such as song titles and artists, from music and videoclips. It recently passed 200 million users worldwide and teamed up with ITV to allow its users to detect what is playing in adverts and interact with the commercials.
The list also features Oxford University spin-out Aurox, which makes 3D microscope equipment for medical researchers, bullet-proof vest maker J&D Wilkie, and Cheltenham-based Adey Professional Heating Solutions, developers of the MagnaClean filtering technology – a magnetic filtration system removing sludge from central heating systems making them more efficient.
Four companies have won awards in both the International Trade and the Innovation categories: Revector, which provides anti-fraud services to mobile operators; Ubisense, a maker of location tracking systems; ICC Solutions, a supplier of test tools for chip and pin certifications for banks; and Racelogic, which supplies speed measurement devices to the automotive sector.
Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk says the standard of this year’s winners highlights the great work being done by businesses of all sizes to help boost the growth of the UK economy: “I hope that it will inspire more entrepreneurs to start or grow their business as we look to make 2012 the year of enterprise.”