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Process industry winners named

Monday 21 January 2013 5:00

Some 450 process industry executives celebrated the best companies and biggest contributors within the region’s process sector at this year’s NEPIC Annual Awards.

Teesside biotech firm Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) dominated the event with four awards, while other winners on the night included SABIC, CPI, Northumbrian Water, Chemoxy International and Exwold Technology.

FDB, which makes key active ingredient in biotech based pharmaceuticals and employs 550 people regionally, won two Young Achiever awards and the award for Sustainable Manufacturing.

The firm’s MCC venture leader, Subhash Chaudhary also received the prestigious Outstanding Contribution award at the event at Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield.

“We look forward to building on this in the future as our business continues to grow on the Billingham site," said FDB managing director Steve Bagshaw.

Meanwhile, seven of the region’s rising stars were recognised from companies across the North East. Apprentice of the Year awards, in the areas of manufacturing and supply chain, were awarded to Craig Wilson of SABIC UK Petrochemicals and Mathew Pollock of CPI respectively.

Other young achievers  recognised included Dan Purvis of SABIC Petrochemicals UK, Rebecca Hill & Lindsay Amos of Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Jenny Thompson of Biochemica and Sembcorp Utilities, Francis Kay who all picked up awards this evening and walked away with their £1000 prizes.

The Primary School Environmental Award was this year won by Middlesbrough based Kader Primary School, for its proposal to develop large areas of school grounds into a learning environment and wildlife area in order to provide curriculum enrichment for all children.

The school received a cheque for £2000 to make the children’s project proposal become a reality.

Northumbrian Water Limited received the Industrial Environmental Award for its innovative large scale use of advanced anaerobic digestion, which converts 100% of its sewage sludge into renewable electricity.

Also collecting awards were successful exporters Chemoxy International and Exwold Technology.  

These awards, sponsored by UKTI, praised Chemoxy International for demonstrating that SMEs are capable of achieving world-wide sales of innovation products and services. Exwold Technology was commended for its continued desire to aggressively grow its export business through development and training.

During the evening Paul Booth, NEPIC chairman and European director at SABIC UK Petrochemicals addressed the guests and took stock of the industry cluster’s position and outlook.

“For most of us it has been another year of change and also a tough year,” he said. “The downturn continues with Europe in the doldrums, whilst the US and Asia continue with their economic recovery.

“Having recognised the challenges that lay ahead for the Cluster this year with the withdrawal of public funding and despite a tough year, we have seen the attraction of new business. Thanks to the hard work of Stan and the NEPIC Team, future financing now looks to be on a secure footing.

“Over the last five years we have had some £3bn of process sector investment in the Northeast, the latest of these being Akzo Nobel, Air Products and Lotte Chemical UK. But what is most encouraging for the future, are the 18 process sector projects that have had Regional Growth Fund bids approved.”

The NEPIC Annual Awards Dinner has now been running for six years. During this time the event has donated a total prize fund of £127,000.

Local schools have received £78,000 in support of 40 STEM related projects and the region’s young stars – 46 in total to date - receiving £46,000 between them.