Lucy Pringle (Bond Dickinson), Jonny Lofthouse (Biochemica); Andrea Seedhouse (SABIC); Tony Jester (

Member Article

Chemical industry award evening celebrates outstanding regional success

Highlights from the 8th NEPIC Annual Awards evening: • 430 process industry executives attend awards night held by NEPIC. • This year’s winners include Jacobs, SABIC, Lotte, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Aesica, Biochemica, Absolute Antibody, Bond Dickinson, Eco EnerG Solutions, Piramal Healthcare, Lucite International, Tomlinson Hall & Ingleby Mill Primary School. • £18,000 awarded to the region’s outstanding young people, contributors and companies. • £10,000 donated to local primary school science projects. • £8,000 awarded to apprentices & young achievers – inspiring future leaders.

Friday 16 January 2015 - Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield. Witnessed by some 430 process industry executives, thirteen awards were presented to the region’s brightest youngsters, best companies and tireless contributors within the process sector at this year’s NEPIC Annual Awards evening.

Eighteen thousand pounds in prize funds were donated over the course of the evening to award winners, in support of future career development and local science related school projects.

Eight of the region’s rising stars were recognised from companies following a flurry of fantastic of entries. Apprentice of the Year Awards – three in total this year - in the areas of manufacturing and supply chain, were awarded to Alex Burr of Billingham-based Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, Scott Taylor of Northumberland pharmaceutical firm Aesica and Jasmin Gibson of Jacobs UK Ltd.

Young Achievers from across the region’s industry sectors were awarded for their outstanding career achievements to-date. Congratulations to Ian Wilkinson of Absolute Antibody, SABIC’s Andrea Seedhouse, David Molyneux of Aesica Pharmaceutical, Jonny Lofthouse of Biochemica UK and from law-firm Bond Dickinson, Lucy Pringle - who all picked up awards and walked away with cheques for £1,000.

The Primary School Environmental Award was this year won by Ingleby Mill Primary School for their plans to create an impressive outdoor learning area including tyre fun, mini beach, music room, mud kitchen, dinosaur land, water wall, weaving forest and bird hide using a range of upcycled and natural materials. The prize fund will allow all of the proposed areas to be realised providing curriculum enrichment for many years to come.

Durham-based SME, Eco EnerG Solutions, scooped this year’s Industrial Environmental Award for their innovative in-house ‘WoodiePod’ creation. The ‘WoodiePod’ not only allows for the re-use of a client’s own wood waste but also a reduction in emissions and energy costs. Having donated their £2,000 prize to Staindrop School, Eco EnerG will now work with staff and pupils using the funds to develop a science-related project.

Also collecting an award, made from locally manufactured acrylic at the Lucite International site Billingham, is SME of the Year, Tomlinson Hall & Co Ltd.

The Billingham-based SME was praised for its outstanding performance in 2014 – increasing sales by a staggering 60% through new product development, exporting and regional collaborations. The firm was also commended for its support of apprenticeships, local community sport projects and has donated their £2,000 prize fund to Priors Mills CE Primary School.

With the judges unable to split the top two companies in the Manufacturing Sustainability category, Lucite International and Piramal Healthcare shared the award.

Both businesses displayed exceptional commitment to the reduction of costs and raw material usage whilst substantially increasing production levels. The winning firms have donated the £2,000 prize to High Clarence Primary and Collingwood School & Media Arts College respectively for future science projects.

The final award of the evening celebrated the Outstanding Contribution of one individual. This year the prestigious award was won by retired industrialist and former ICI engineering manager, Mark Lewis.

Mark’s career has centred on engineering excellence culminating in his appointment as the Process Industry Centre of Manufacturing Excellence (PICME) CEO to drive efficiency and quality management into the sector. He has more recently, as NEPIC’s Technical Manager, led major projects to rejuvenate regional industry.

To date the event has gifted £168,000 to the region’s rising stars and regional school science and environmental projects.

The evening was sponsored by ABB, Lotte Chemical UK, Redhall, BOC, Haden Freeman, Middlesbrough College, Sembcorp, Bond Dickinson – and the winner’s trophies provided by Lucite International.

NEPIC CEO, Dr Stan Higgins, commented on the events ongoing success:

“Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. This event goes from strength to strength – and with so many people from our industry coming together we are able to communicate some important messages.”

Stan continued:

“I would like to thank all our guests from across the UK, in particular Steve Elliot CEO of the Chemical Industries Association and Tom Crotty, who Chairs the UK Chemical Growth Partnership on behalf of the sector and the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, for their update on national initiatives aimed at securing the sectors future in the UK.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by NEPIC .

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