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It's in the bag ... Firms and uni win recognition from Queen
[April 24, 2007]

It's in the bag ... Firms and uni win recognition from Queen

(Nottingham Evening Post Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) The innovative work of the University of Nottingham and two local companies has been recognised with a Queen's Award.

The School of Pharmacy at the University and spin-off company, Molecular Profiles Ltd, have jointly received an award in the 'Continuous Innovation and Development' category.

They are the UK's most prestigious awards for business performance. They recognise and reward outstanding achievement by UK companies.

Molecular Profiles Ltd and the School of Pharmacy have been given the award for their pioneering work in pharmaceuticals and nanotechnology.

Nikin Patel, chief executive of Molecular Profiles Ltd, said: "We are extremely honoured to be awarded this prestigious accolade. The award recognises our scientists' expertise and commitment in making Molecular Profiles a cutting-edge global contract research company.

"The fact that Nottingham has received two awards is a positive endorsement on innovation activities within the region. We, as a company, have certainly benefited from regional support during our growth.

"I was a PhD research student in the School of Pharmacy at the University just a decade ago when I undertook the challenge of growing and developing Molecular Profiles Ltd.

"The award is welcome recognition for an excellent team which is providing rigorous and innovative science to the pharmaceutical industry." The award sees the company and its range of services recognised as one of the UK's most innovative during 2007. The School and Molecular Profiles are singled out for significantly enhancing the development of new medicines.

Acting vice chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor David Greenway, said: "This double recognition underlines the excellence in our School of Pharmacy, it also recognises phenomenal achievement in the creation of an innovative, fast-growing and market-leading enterprise. Twelve months ago the University of Nottingham received the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. To receive such distinguished accolades in consecutive years is an exceptional achievement." The School is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in nanotechnology research, and is credited with producing exciting breakthrough results in the field. Scientists at the school undertake research in biophysics, medical chemistry, drug delivery and tissue engineering.

The other Nottingham based company to receive an award is Portpack UK Ltd, which has won the Queen's Award in the International Trade category. The company, which has increased its international sales by 74% in the last three years, designs and manufactures mobile bagging equipment.

The Hucknall-based firm exports its products globally to markets in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Morocco and Pakistan.

With only five full-time employees, Portpack is one of the smallest businesses to win an award this year. The company was praised for its impressive development of nine new overseas markets in the last three years.

Andrew Henson, General Manager of Portpack, runs the business with his wife Sharon. He said: "I think we've been successful because we produce quality products at a good price compared to our competitors.

"We're not sure what wining the award will mean for us yet, but we are told by previous winners a lot of publicity will be generated, which will benefit a small-scale company like ours with only limited advertising." Local winners from last year, Playtop Ltd, have gone from strength to strength since receiving the award in the International Trade category in 2006. The Newark-based firm produce safer, impact absorbing playground surfacing. Marc Blamire, marketing manager of Playtop Ltd said: "Receiving the Queen's Award has increased our credibility in all corners of the world and has given a great sense of pride to all those involved in our company." "We have got eight new licenses in the last 12 months which has been our best year." This years award winners are invited to a celebration in London tomorrow, followed by a reception at Buckingham Palace in July held by HM The Queen.

Copyright 2007 Northcliffe Newspapers Limited

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