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KP Technology Ltd wins Queens Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2008

20th April 2008

Photograph of KP Technology Ltd wins Queens Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2008

KP Technology Ltd, a high-tech company, located in Wick in the far north of Scotland, has been awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation for research, design and manufacture of specialist Scientific Equipment called Kelvin; Probes. The Queens Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for businesses and other organisations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses. To be awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in the category of Innovation, businesses must be able to demonstrate substantial improvement in business performance and commercial success, to levels that are outstanding for the size of the applicants operations.

KP Technology was established with the dual aims of bringing to the market novel analysis tools that would allow researchers to study new and advanced materials and to educate scientists and engineers in the capabilities of these emerging technologies. Director and founder, Professor Iain Baikie, has over 26 years experience of working in the field of Surface and Materials Science. He has dedicated a large proportion of his time to refining and applying the Kelvin Probe technique to research areas in physics, materials science, chemistry and bio-technology to make it useable to a wide variety of clients. He is the inventor of the latest version of the Kelvin Probe that is increasingly used in laboratories around the world.

The probe which is named after Lord Kelvin, the well-known physicist who was a professor and vice-chancellor of Glasgow University at the end of the 19th Century. It is used to characterise surface electrical properties of materials by detecting changes in the top-most atomic layers. As a result of continuing research, patent pending technologies have been incorporated extending the instruments range of applications to include nanotechnology, semi-conductor research, surface coatings technology and biotechnology.

Since inception KP Technology has experienced rapid growth and now services over 200 companies and research institutes worldwide in their materials research and characterization requirements and has shipped to over 22 countries worldwide. The companys eight-strong Scottish-based team consists of electronic and software engineers, materials research associates, training, sales and administrative staff. Within only a few years K P Technology has built an international presence with ten representatives located in a number of countries including, Italy, Japan, China, India, USA and Australia.

KP Technology continually researches and develops new ideas and at present research activities involve collaboration with companies and institutes around the world including, Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Seagate in the USA and the European Space Agency in Holland. They have a growing product base that includes Single Point and Scanning Kelvin Probes for ambient and controlled atmosphere, UHV Absolute Kelvin Probes, Corrosion Kelvin Probes with Relative Humidity Enclosure and Surface Photovoltage Kelvin Probes. Each of these products feature unique attributes developed by Professor Baikie, which are unsurpassed by any other company in the field.

In keeping with the educational aims, KP Technology is the principal organiser of the Caithness International Science Festival, which was set-up in 2003 to encourage young people to become involved in Science and see it as a fun and interesting area of learning. This year we hosted Duane Carey, A NASA shuttle pilot and Laura Nichols a researcher at MIT, alongside 12 other presenters.

Professor Iain Baikie, Director of KP Technology, said: We are absolutely delighted to receive this award, especially as there were no winners in Scotland in the Innovation category last year. Scotland has a rich history in innovation and this goes hand in hand with the creation of interesting jobs, new products and wealth creation. I am very proud of the team we have built up in Wick and this award reflects their abilities, aspiration and dedication over a considerable period. In order to achieve this award we have enjoyed excellent support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and their input over the years has been of great value. I hope that this award raises our profile and that the company can proceed to develop both more skills and a larger product base.

Sandy Cumming, HIE chief executive said: KP Technology fully deserves this recognition. Professor Baikie and his team have applied their expertise in a very specialised area to become a leading supplier of equipment for materials analysis. Not only are KP Technology at the vanguard of their field, but they are also highly successful in marketing their products around the world. We are very proud to have this company based in the Highlands and Islands and proud that their hard work and innovation have been rewarded in this way.

Roy Kirk, HIEs REgeneration area manager based in Thurso said: KP Technology is just the sort of innovative, ambitious and highly-skilled company that we need to drive up Scotlands GDP. HIE has worked closely with Iain Baikie to develop his plans for the company and this award represents yet another milestone in its continuing success story.

K P Technology under the leadership of Professor Ian Baikie who returned to his home town of Wick to establish his company continues to add to a growing list of awards for his achievements for his exceptional Kelvin Probe developments. Awards received recently include -

K P Technology Ltd won a SMART Scotland R and D award 2003-05

KP Technology Ltd won the SCDI research and development award 2006

KP Technology Ltd won the Highlands and Islands Business Award for Best Innovation in 2007

For more information about KP Technology Ltd please visit

The Queens Awards for Enterprise are the UKs most prestigious Awards for business performance. They recognise and reward outstanding achievement by UK companies. The Queens Awards for Enterprise are presented in three categories: International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development. They are open to all business units that meet the entry criteria. For more information about the Queens Awards please visit


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