Step forward capital's best export idea: Camden company crowned
Monday 12th March 2012
The winner was announced by Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green at an Export for Growth reception at One Marylebone.
Camden’s Pavegen won the prize for its innovative paving slabs which create electricity from footsteps.
Amee Devani, Pavegen’s Development Executive, said: "Winning this award is a phenomenal opportunity for Pavegen as it comes at a critical time for our overseas growth and expansion. This award will help us realise our full and exciting potential for global trade.
"The support from UKTI and sponsors HSBC and PwC, has been very good and has helped us to focus on the key messages of the business and we have received useful and varied input from different experts."
The two runners up are Testplant based in the City, and Greenwich’s Integrated Trackers Integrated Trackers. They will receive grants and support towards targeting international markets.
George Mackintosh, Chief Executive of Testplant, which is supporting the software test industry in India said: "Gaining second place for this award is just great news for Testplant, especially given the calibre of the other finalists. Being part of the finals will be a huge help in supporting our export drive and also a big stamp of approval for our product here in the UK. The help on offer from UKTI and sponsors HSBC and PwC will be used to accelerate our expansion into India and China. The whole process has been of real business benefit to us."
Harley Clark, Director of Integrated Trackers, which design and manufacture GPS trackers for bicycles to help locate them if stolen, said: "It is an honour to be placed in the top three and I thank UKTI and the sponsors, HSBC and PwC, for the opportunity. Being part of the Export for Growth finals has been a wonderful boost to our plan to go global, and in particular, helps us look towards Europe and the Nordic region in the short term.
"We're confident that with UKTI and the sponsors support we can reach our export goal, and we’re looking forward to being part of UKTI's global network.”
The ten finalists went head-to-head to pitch their export idea to an audience of over 50 influential business leaders, who voted using an interactive electronic system, and a panel of judges; Brian Weare, Deputy Regional Commercial Director London, HSBC; Dr Kurt Barling, BBC London Special Correspondent; Parveen Thornhill, Regional Director, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) London, and Simon O’Brien, Partner Export for Growth Project, PwC.
Lord Green, Minister for Trade & Investment, said: “The calibre of firms who have presented their ideas has been exceptional. I give my congratulations to the winner, Pavegen, and two runners up and wish the other finalists the very best with their innovative export ideas.
“I hope that the event will encourage others to spread their wings and benefit from international trade, particularly in our Olympic year when the entire world will be watching the City. We are determined to attract a further 100,000 SMEs into exporting across the UK, as research has shown that those who do increase growth and efficiency.”
Parveen Thornhill, Regional Director for UKTI London, said: “The standard of entries was incredibly high and the creativity and innovation of the ideas was fantastic.
“However Pavegen stood out due to its overall innovative approach and how it's already beginning to think about diversifying and developing different concepts. The judges were impressed by Pavegen’s good understanding of the barriers to trade and overall help and support it knows it will need to help achieve its goal.
"We are looking forward to working with them as UKTI is well placed to help them succeed. Exporting is crucial for firms to sustain their business and grow which is why we urge all London companies to take advantage of the support and opportunities out there.
“The latest export statistics, just published by HM Revenue & Customs, show that for the year ending December 2011, London hit a staggering £35.3 billion which is fantastic news! 2010's figures were almost £28.5 billion so exports increased by 23.9 per cent. Let’s make the 2012 figures even better.”
Brian Weare, Deputy Regional Commercial Director London, HSBC, said: “At HSBC we forecast that UK international trade will grow by 60% over the next 15 years, so it is encouraging to see such strong London businesses here today, positioning themselves to grow by taking advantage of international and export opportunities. We have seen some exciting and innovative businesses from a diverse, creative and economically vibrant region. Congratulations to Pavegen and we look forward to seeing the company grow in the years to come.”
Simon O’Brien, Partner for the Export for Growth project, PwC, said: “London SMEs are particularly strong in exporting and are reaping all the rewards that come with it. These finalists represent the next generation of successful SME exporters and we've been really impressed with the energy and enthusiasm they have shown to the judging panel.
"We are really looking forward to working with Pavegen as it embarks on its own export challenge and hope its story will inspire other SMEs to take the leap into export.”
Notes to editors
Photos of the winners/runners up with Lord Green are available from the COI number below.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business.
UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000.
Export trade stats background: Year on year, the largest percentage increase in the English regions was for London, whose exports increased by 23.9 per cent to £35.3 billion during 2011. This maintained the sustained growth seen in London’s exports during 2010; London’s export value rose by 60 per cent over the two year period, in contrast with a more modest rise of 12 per cent for the South East.
The winner’s announcement on Thursday 8th March was followed by the National Export Challenge event which is part of a long-term initiative to encourage professional organisations to play their part in increasing the number of SME exporters from around 20 per cent to 25 per cent, in line with European competitors.
Around 50 delegates attended on the day with representatives from trade associations, banks, accountancy and legal firms, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Chambers of Commerce, regional and private sector networks.
HSBC Bank plc: HSBC serves 16.1 million customers in the UK and employs approximately 52,000 people. In the UK, HSBC offers a complete range of personal, premier and private banking services including bank accounts and mortgages. It also provides commercial banking for small to medium businesses and corporate and institutional banking services.
HSBC Bank plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc. The HSBC Group: HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,691bn at 30 June 2011, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations.
PwC firms provide industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to enhance value for their clients. More than 161,000 people in 154 countries in firms across the PwC network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice. See pwc.com for more information.
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