THREE local businesses, Chipside Ltd in Brinkworth, Bath ASU in Corsham and Alvan Branch Development Company Ltd in Crudwell have received Queens Awards for Innovation and International Trade, among 200 businesses honoured this spring.

Alvan Blanch is delighted with its win in the International Trade – Outstanding Achievement category, giving it a hat-trick after success in 2005 and 2012. Alvan Blanch is the only company in the agricultural sector, to win in the category.

Alvan Blanch make post-harvest processing machinery and industrial drying systems. With regular markets in every inhabited continent, the company has focused on using its international trade to drive growth, while maintaining its established UK customer base.

Understanding the challenges and changes of fast-moving markets has been crucial for Alvan Blanch to achieve its international success. In addition to a well-known grain drier business, Alvan Blanch boasts dedicated engineering and design teams who are constantly working on product enhancement and R&D.

The last five years have seen a large expansion in global operations as the company has opened sales offices and service centres in several markets in Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe.

MD Andrew Blanch said: "We are very proud to have won this award for the third time; it represents a great achievement by everyone here. When we first won it 14 years ago we had managed £3m of export sales, the award in 2012 reflected sharp growth of exports to £8m, while now we have reached £12m.

"Over that period, we have doubled our workforce to 120 and we have recently invested very heavily in manufacturing automation and in expanding our factory. We now have a world-class manufacturing facility that enables us to compete in highly demanding global markets with our world beating products. All of that has only been made possible by our four-fold export sales growth over the 14 years between these awards."

Founded in 2003 and employing 50 people, Chipside is a specialist software development company providing digital ticketing and permitting products and services to more than half of all local and national government authorities in the UK.

Paul Moorby OBE, CEO of Chipside, said: “Winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation is a fantastic achievement for our company and welcome recognition for the hard work and results I have seen from my team in recent years.

“We have worked hard to digitally transform local government and this is why we continually reinvest in innovation to improve our software suite – introducing new services to customers such as back office notice processing and MiPermit digital permits. We look forward to moving forward and continuing to build upon our success, growing as a tech company and improving our services to meet the potential of the UK’s connected cities.”

Chipside enables the simple, effective and efficient delivery of smart city initiatives. The first digital platform of its kind, its automated processes deliver cost saving benefits and data analysis opportunities to clients. Chipside can help local authorities combine large datasets - such as analysis of traffic flows - with real-time on-street parking demand. This can enable the setting of demand-led parking tariffs and inform decisions around traffic management policies, the building of new parking facilities and the development of new resident parking schemes.

Bath ASU Director Chris Watt said that the Queens Award for Innovation is a significant milestone for the company, adding: “It is extremely gratifying to see the dedication and commitment of the team directly resulting in a better experience for cancer patients and providing a major helping hand for oncology units in hospitals throughout the country. The recognition of all of this with the Queens Award is a tremendous reward not just for the R&D team, but for the entire business and every single member of staff, we are all delighted and deeply honoured.”

The award has been made following Bath ASU’s success in extending the manufacturers’ shelf lives of biologic chemotherapy drugs, following months of dedicated work from a specifically assembled Research and Development team, working in conjunction with the University of Bath.

Biologics, including monoclonal antibodies, immunotherapies and targeted therapies, have been growing in importance for some years but suffer from a short shelf life, commonly as little as 8-24 hours for specialist treatments that can cost several thousand pounds each.

This was an inherent weakness that had a profound impact on patient outcomes and on the hospitals’ capacity and ability to treat patients effectively. It also resulted in regular wastage of products that had to be disposed of and replaced because they expired without being administered to the patient.

Bath ASU established the R&D unit with private funding to try to find a way of extending the shelf lives of these products. In order to achieve that it had to prove that it was technologically possible and change the way NHS hospitals operate. They succeeded in doing this after years of dedicated work. The NHS Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Committee ratified the approach by adopting a new standard, enabling Bath ASU to offer biologics to the market with shelf lives extended up to a maximum of 84 days.

MP James Gray said: “I am delighted that these businesses have been recognised by Her Majesty The Queen with such a prestigious award. They all make a huge contribution, not just to North Wiltshire, but also to our growing economy. These businesses were selected for their entrepreneurship and I am delighted that they have been recognised for their hard work.

"Three-quarters of this year’s winners are small and medium sized businesses, demonstrating that the UK is one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business. This is down to the environment created by the Conservative Government and the support they have given."

The winners will receive these prestigious awards at a Buckingham Palace reception.

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organisations that excel in three categories; International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development, with an additional Award for Enterprise Promotion (QAEP), awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to promoting and enhancing enterprise among UK entrepreneurs and companies. The Queen's Awards for Enterprise, which are the highest official UK accolade for British businesses, aim to promote excellence and drive economic growth.