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KP Technology wins National Innovation Award

21st December 2008

Prof Iain Baikie, Director of KP Technology in Wick, picked up a John Logie Baird Award - one of the major innovation awards open to Scottish businesses- last week. At a reception for over 300 people in the Glasgow Science Centre, KP Technology won in the "Impact in Innovation" category.

KP Technology manufacture "Kelvin probes" that are increasingly used in materials research, including the new "organic" flat panel displays currently found in mp3 players, new 'electronic' books and high-end displays. With a full order book KP Technology sees no sign of the run-down occurring in the national economy. This Wick based firm has active research projects with the European Space Agency, Harvard Medical School, UK and USA Police forces and various universities to develop new products.

John Logie Baird was the Scottish inventor of the television around 1926. His son, Prof. Malcolm Baird, who lives in Canada attended the award ceremony and spoke about his father and mentioned that John Logie Baird had colour TV working in the late 1940's.

There are 6 John Logie Baird Awards covering a spectrum of innovation, one of the top awards is the Impact in Innovation which is awarded for an innovation developed by an existing company which has already demonstrated its potential within the marketplace. Other awards categories were Entrepreneurial Spirit, Public Sector, Knowledge Transfer and Young Innovator. Following a written application over 80 companies across Scotland were invited to make a presentation to a regional assessment panel. The winners of the regional assessment then made a second presentation to national panels in Edinburgh and Glasgow. As Iain was attending a conference in Boston at the time his entry took the form of a telephone presentation.

Prof. Baikie said "As we did not know the outcome in advance it was quite exciting and a great pleasure for my wife Elena and me to take part in the gala evening. I managed to speak to Prof. Baird during the event and I hope that we can stay in touch in the longer term. We also managed to do some Science Festival business in the Glasgow Science Centre prior to the event - and wouldn't it be great to have an attraction like that in Caithness!"

John Mackenzie, development manager for innovation and entrepreneurship at HIE, said: "The commitment of businesses such as KP Technology, who are practising innovation, winning international orders and creating high quality, skilled employment, deserves recognition as a clear example of the benefits of investing in research and development. We are delighted to have been able to sponsor this important award and I congratulate KP Technology on achieving this success."

HIE area manager Roy Kirk said "We are delighted to see this award coming to Caithness and add our congratulations to Iain and his team. KP Technology is an excellent example of how local companies can overcome the problems of geography to become world-beaters through the clever use of technology and innovation."


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