The Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre is once again sponsoring the ‘Innovation in Business’ award at the 2021 StokeOnTrentLive Business Awards.

Having sponsored the same category since 1998, this year will see the BIC step into the 24th year of sponsorship which is no mean feat.

The BIC’s continued supportive nature of this particular category demonstrates how important local innovation is to the business, the crafting of which truly takes centre stage in what they do.

As detailed in the video above, we recently caught up with BIC CEO Geoff Riley discussing all things innovation and the importance of the awards to the community.

Geoff’s passion for inspiring local businesses became apparent in the interview which reflects all of the great work that the organisation has been doing over the course of the last 25 years.

Despite the extremely difficult situation that 2020 and the beginning of this year have posed to local businesses, the BIC is continuing to be a strong support network behind various local innovations, an example of some are:

Aircom ™

Aircom ™ is now in regular production thanks to the support from the BIC
Aircom ™ is now in regular production thanks to the support from the BIC

Aircom ™ is the brainchild of Westwood Technical from Newcastle Under Lyme. The business specialise in control and instrumentation, providing a plethora of services to the Energy & Utilities, Automotive and Automation industries.

Their latest endeavour, Aircom ™, is a self-contained, battery-powered communications device. The device has been designed to collate data from across various instruments and has also been built to withstand harsh environments whilst able to transmit data from the asset to any command centre globally.

This is the first product that Westwood Technical took from the initial stages of design through to development and commercialising themselves. This is where they enlisted the help of BIC for crucial support via their ‘New Product Development Grant’.

Thanks to the support of the BIC, the product now finds itself in regular production and Westwood Technical have even welcomed two new employees.

MowMow Rocks

MowMow Rocks is available on the Apple store and the Android Google Play store
MowMow Rocks is available on the Apple store and the Android Google Play store

MowMow Rocks is a free app that allows you to paint rocks and transforms the simplicity of painting, hiding and finding rocks, transporting it in to the world of digital for both children and adults.

App users paint a real rock, hide it in the real world and leave a clue to its location on the app. You can then use the map to locate other decorated rocks in the real world them and add them to your ‘vault’.

The application encourages children and their parents to get outside and get active, as the game even counts your steps on each journey. It is designed to bring moments of joy to families whilst helping with enrichment.

The BIC assisted with the cost of researching, protecting and developing the MowMow Rocks app, subsequently helping it to successfully launch into the market.


Cabbunk® is now successfully on the market
Cabbunk® is now successfully on the market

Richard & Jane Olphin had years of motorhoming under their belts, so when their two granddaughters debuted into the world, they began looking into ways that the girls could join them in staying overnight in their motor home.

Having only been able to find ‘child cab beds’ that were available for older VW models, Richard found a way to adapt a similar product to work with the new swivel seat cabs.

Richard then initially contacted Swindell & Pearson local Patent Attorneys in 2012 before they referred him to the BIC where he accessed additional support with regards to product design, funding and marketing.

Once the patent application was completed, production commenced and by 2013 Cabbunk® was on the market and was being exhibited at a number of leisure, caravan, camping and motor shows.

The ‘Innovation in business’ award at the StokeOnTrentLive Business Awards is one of 13 awards in total that aim to recognise and reward those local businesses and individuals that are paving the way for continued success in the business sector across the county.

In order to enter the awards, click here to visit the official website of the awards and fill in the nomination form. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 23 February.

Following the closing of the nominations, three finalists from each of the 13 categories will be shortlisted by a judging panel. Winners will be announced at this years virtual awards on Thursday 22 April.