THE need for companies to come up with bright new ideas is far greater when the competition gets tough.
And with the economy in decline there has rarely been a time when companies need to be more innovative.
So a lot of entries are expected for the Innovation Award at the North East’s biggest and best business awards this year.
Entries are flooding in to the nebusiness Awards, organised by The Journal and Evening Gazette with support from the North East Chamber of Commerce, before the closing date at the end of this week.
The North East has a tradition of innovation, from Victorian industrialists such as Lord Armstrong and inventors such as Joseph Swan to the leaders in digital technology and engineering who have succeeded in recent decades and the organisers have big hopes for this year’s entries.
Last year’s winner was County Durham firm Tekmar Energy and the judges’ faith was echoed by London investment company Elysian Capital which this year bought the firm.
The deal, understood to have been worth more than £20m, gives the company funds to realise its ambitious expansion targets which it says will see it double its 150-strong workforce.
The Newton Aycliffe-based manufacturer of cable protection systems, mainly for use by the offshore wind sector, was split from its parent oil and gas equipment Tekmar Group at the start of the year.
Tekmar Energy chief executive James Ritchie said: “We had fantastic growth opportunities that didn’t sit with the rest of the company. There are phenomenal growth opportunities.