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					NEWS RELEASE:

Date of Issue: 26 June 2009

     Heads of the Valleys Innovation Awards – Winners Announced

          2009 annual awards recognise innovation in the Valleys

Last night, in the awe-inspiring surroundings of the Dowlais Engine House,
the winners of the 2009 Heads of the Valleys Innovation Awards were
announced in front of a capacity audience mainly from South Wales.

The Innovation Awards, now in their third year, showcase and reward the
most innovative businesses in the area. Businesses gain recognition for
doing things differently or imaginatively that has had a dramatic and beneficial
impact on their development and / or the region or beyond.

BBC‟s Jason Mohammad compered the event, which was opened by Alistair
Neill, Chief Executive of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

Richie Turner, from the University of Wales Global Academy, who manages
the Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarship programme said, “The Innovation
Awards are a fantastic opportunity to hear about and be inspired by the
businesses in the region and we are delighted to be the main sponsor of the
Awards and Marketplace exhibition, which in itself is an innovative event.”

“These businesses demonstrate the power of innovation to drive the Welsh
economy forward and they play an important role in putting the Heads of the
Valleys back on the innovation map. The winners show that innovation really
does make a difference – to the business, to the people in that business, to
customers, to the local community and to the region. Many congratulations to
all of the winners.”

Phil Burkhard, Manager of the Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme
(HOVIP) said, “We were delighted to have received so many entries for this
year‟s Awards. The Engine House once powered the largest ironworks in the
world in a region that was, and is once again becoming, a hotbed of
innovation. The calibre of entries was very high and the winners will act as a
beacon for others.”

HOVIP received 35 entries for the 2009 Awards across four separate
categories and the submissions were judged by an independent panel of high
profile business and social enterprise professionals.
The winners are:
Most Innovative Social Enterprise -sponsored by Cardiff-based Capital Law:
New Pathways (Merthyr Tydfil County Borough)

Most Innovative Sole Trader - sponsored by HSBC:
Shabby Chic Antiques (Merthyr Tydfil County Borough)

Most Innovative Business with less than 20 employees - sponsored by South
Wales Chamber of Commerce:
SteriTouch Ltd (Blaenau Gwent County Borough)

Most Innovative Business with more than 20 employees - sponsored by BT:
DecTek Ltd. (Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough)

Nick Corlett of SteriTouch Ltd summed up the excitement shared by all the
winners when he said, “We were thrilled to win the award and extremely
flattered that our efforts have been recognised. The Award means a great
deal to us and will give us exposure to a much wider audience than we
usually reach. We are proud to be winners.”

In addition, the Award for the Most Innovative Exhibition stand, sponsored by
the Welsh Assembly Government‟s Flexible Support for Business was Royvon
Dog Training Schools (Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

The Heads of the Valleys Innovation Awards and Marketplace exhibition is a
flagship event organised as part of the Heads of the Valleys Innovation
Programme (HOVIP). HOVIP aims to increase the capacity for innovation in
businesses in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff
and Torfaen and to make them more competitive.

HOVIP is hosted by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and supported
by the Welsh Assembly Government Heads of the Valleys Regeneration
Programme. It is also supported by Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr
Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Torfaen County Borough Councils.

For further information about the Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme,
please visit www.hovip.org.uk.

ENDS

Caption for photograph:
Winners of the 2009 Heads of the Valleys Innovation Awards
Left to right: Theresa Locke, Shabby Chic Antiques; Sarah Draper, Royvon
Dog Training Schools; David Beese, DecTek Ltd and Nick Corlett, SteriTouch
Ltd; and sitting in the car, Libby Jones MBE, New Pathways.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Enquiries to: Phil Burkhard, Programme Manager, HOVIP (Heads of the
Valleys Innovation Programme).
Tel: 01685 725 469 Email: phil.burkhard@merthyr.gov.uk

1. ABOUT HOVIP:
The Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme (HOVIP) aims to increase
the capacity for innovation in businesses in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly,
Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Torfaen. HOVIP2 is hosted by
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and supported by the Welsh Assembly
Government Heads of the Valleys Regeneration Programme. It is also
supported by Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf
and Torfaen County Borough Councils.

For more information visit www.hovip.org.uk or call Phil Burkhard on 01685
725469 or email: phil.burkhard@merthyr.gov.uk

2. ABOUT THE HOV INNOVATION AWARDS AND MARKETPLACE:
The 2009 Heads of the Valleys Innovation Awards and Marketplace was
sponsored by University of Wales Global Innovation Academy. Individual
Awards were sponsored by BT, HSBC, South Wales Chamber of Commerce,
Capital Law and Flexible Support for Business from the Welsh Assembly
Government. The event was held on June 25 2009 at The Dowlais Engine
House, Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil and is part of HOVIP2.

3. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WINNERS:
Most Innovative Social Enterprise - sponsored by Capital Law:
Winner - New Pathways

New Pathways provides a range of counselling and support services to
victims of rape and sexual abuse. Many vulnerable people throughout South
Wales have been helped through the unusual and imaginative projects
designed specifically to cater for the client‟s needs.

Judges‟ comments:

“A strong enterprise delivering a much needed service to a highly vulnerable
client base. Whilst operating in a difficult and emotive area, New Pathways
provides benefits for clients, volunteers and the community at large.”


Most Innovative Sole Trader - sponsored by HSBC:
Winner – Shabby Chic Antiques

Shabby Chic Antiques blends old with new to provide high end customers
across the UK and overseas with innovative and unique custom tailored
furniture. The business encourages people to consider re-using recycled old
and antique furniture and combine it with new fresh ideas that fit modern
décor and lifestyle.

Shabby Chic Antiques was featured in the June 2009 issue of Vogue and has
been hand-picked by leading designers to feature in two of the ITV ‟60 Minute
Makeover‟ programmes in the Autumn.

Judges‟ comments:
“An innovative idea with opportunity to establish a sustainable business with a
wide target market.”

Most Innovative Business with less than 20 employees -sponsored by
South Wales Chamber of Commerce:
Winner – SteriTouch Ltd

SteriTouch Ltd is the only company in the UK offering an antimicrobial co-
brand encompassing a complete antimicrobial solution, from product
development and testing, through prototyping and manufacturing to
marketing. The company fills a gap in the market by providing a
comprehensive product range within the reach of even the smallest customer.

The „SteriTouch‟ trademark is currently being used as a „co-brand‟ by over
thirty companies, including World Dryer, PHS and Universal Electronics.

Judges‟ comments:
“When a great technology, a strong brand, a clever business model and sheer
hard work are all combined, outstanding innovation is the result.”

Most Innovative Business with more than 20 employees - sponsored by
BT: Winner – DecTek Ltd.

DecTek Ltd has developed a low cost method of encapsulating UHF RFID
technology for use across a range of industries including transport, event
management, livestock, libraries, warehousing and retailing and distribution.
The uniqueness of the solution is further augmented by the ability to bar code
each individual unit to sync with individually programmed RFID tags.

DecTek‟s capability to brand in full colour using high-end digital print
technology provides a double-edged, fully integrated tracking and marketing
solution.

Judges‟ comments:
“This is an excellent example of open innovation, where the company has
built collaborations and partnerships in order to maximise the speed with
which the product has been innovated and, now, the business will grow to
achieve a potential global impact. The business is also creating jobs in a
deprived area in a time of recession.”



Most Innovative Exhibition Stand – sponsored by Welsh Assembly
Government’s Flexible Support for Business: Winner – Royvon Dog
Training Schools Ltd.

Royvon Dog Training Schools provide residential dog training services. The
business, which was established in 1959, is committed to continual
improvement and develops many innovative initiatives to drive the business.

This innovative approach was reflected in the Exhibition stand at the
Marketplace event. The judges were impressed with the design of the
display, as well as with the friendly and open attitude of the Royvon team.

4. ABOUT THE HEADS OF THE VALLEYS PROGRAMME:
The Heads of the Valleys initiative is a 15 year regeneration project, led by the
Welsh Assembly Government, working to benefit communities in Merthyr
Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Aimed at
stimulating regeneration, economic growth, and environmental improvement,
the £140 million programme is making the Heads of the Valleys an
increasingly successful and attractive area for people to live and work.

The Heads of the Valleys initiative was launched by the Welsh Assembly
Government in September 2004. The 15 year regeneration strategy has been
developed in full partnership with five local authorities, Rhondda Cynon Taf,
Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen, and other local
stakeholders. The initiative is tackling the root causes of economic inactivity
and other key issues in the area, within the context of the Wales Spatial Plan.

The £140million programme aims to create:

         An attractive and well-used natural, historic and built environment
         A vibrant economic landscape offering new opportunities
         A well educated, skilled and healthier population
         An appealing and coherent tourism and leisure experience
         Public confidence in a shared bright future

For more information visit: www.wales.gov.uk/headsofthevalleys

5. F1 Experience UK:
This full size genuine F1 car with built-in simulator is available to hire for
corporate events, product launches and local attractions.
For more information contact Ian Pryce on 01591 610702 or by email at
welshian@tiscali.co.uk
ENDS

				
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