Employees at Northampton-based Irisys celebrated after being presented the Queen’s Award for Enterprise yesterday (Wednesday 3 October) by the Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, Sir Tim Boswell.
This is the second year in a row that Irisys has achieved the award, the highest official UK recognition for British businesses.
Irisys, a pioneer in infrared technology, won the 2012 Queen’s award in the Innovation category for its patented Queue Management technologies. The company won its first Queen’s award in 2011 in the International Trade category for its export achievements. Irisys-developed predictive Queue Management is now used by many of the world’s leading retailers, including Tesco and Morrisons, to slash waiting times at checkouts.
Sir Tim Boswell said: “Two awards in two years shows a systematic process for success” adding that it is “a treat for me to come and see it and help you celebrate it.”
Dr Ian Wilcock, general manager at Irisys said: “Winning an award like this is always very much a team effort. Winning it for the second year in a row makes it seem even more special. Only a handful of companies have ever achieved this, so we’re all absolutely delighted. It follows another exceptional year for us, when we saw more strong international growth, launched innovative new products, and expanded our recruitment at our factory and head office, both of which are based in Northampton.”
Irisys designs and manufactures thermal detectors and systems which are used for people counting, queue management, thermal imaging, security and in healthcare. It started trading in 1996 and now exports over 80% of its production to more than 50 countries worldwide. The company invests a double digit percentage of revenues in R&D, and holds over 70 patents.
About The Queen's Awards for Enterprise
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise is a programme for British businesses and other organisations which excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development.
To be awarded the Queen's Award for Innovation, Irisys had to demonstrate continuous innovation and development over at least five years.
Awards are made on the advice of the Prime Minister after examination of applications by an Advisory Committee composed of leading individuals from industry, commerce, trade unions and government. The awards are conferred by the Queen on her birthday every year: 21 April.
Winners are allowed to use the Queen's Award emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for a period of five years. Winners attend a garden party in July at Buckingham Palace, and are visited during the year by a Lord Lieutenant, the Queen’s local representative, to present the award, a crystal chalice.
Irisys picked up the Queen’s Award for Export at Buckingham Palace on 14 July - you can read the behind-the-scenes story here. Here are some pictures of the event.
Chris Precious, president of Irisys Technologies Inc. and head of Irisys Americas, meets the Queen
Head of software development Dr Neil Sumpter with the Duke of Edinburgh
Head of software development Dr Neil Sumpter, and Chris Precious, president of Irisys Technologies Inc. and head of Irisys Americas, outside the Palace.
Irisys has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2011 - the highest official UK award for British businesses.
We were selected in the International Trade category for “outstanding” export achievements.
We increased overseas sales by 142% to nearly £12 million p.a. over three years, and upped exports from 48% to 83% of production. We now export to more than 40 countries worldwide including North and South America, China and Japan.
It also helped that we invest a double digit percentage of revenues in R&D, and hold over 70 patents.
The Awards are run in a peculiarly British way. The palace wrote to us about it some weeks back, but there was an official embargo until a minute past midnight on the Queen’s birthday. The idea is that Her Majesty bestows the honour as a personal birthday gift.
The Award follows an exceptional year for us. We more than doubled our turnover, opened more international offices, and embarked on a major recruitment programme.
We have an extraordinarily talented team here. It’s good to gain official recognition that we’re doing outstanding stuff.