The finalists in the Knowledge Pioneer category at the Norfolk Business Awards 2018

PUBLISHED: 12:02 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:33 17 October 2018

The Norfolk Business Awards 2018 will be held at the Norfolk Showground Arena on November 22. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

The Norfolk Business Awards 2018 will be held at the Norfolk Showground Arena on November 22. Picture: Simon Finlay Photography.

Copyright 2017

Introducing the finalists in the Knowledge Pioneer category of the Norfolk Business Awards 2018, sponsored by UEA – and what our judges thought of them.

• Chadwicks

Based at the UEA, Chadwicks is wealth manager and business adviser company, specialising in investment management and exit strategies for business owners. Learning is central to the company’s ethos. It embraces lifelong learning and actively encourages its employees to study by supporting formal qualifications and giving time for wider research. It employs inquisitive people and believes encouraging inquiring minds increases engagement and leads directly to better client outcomes.

Judges’ comments: Wealth management firm Chadwicks places learning and knowledge at the heart of its model, and encourages staff to stretch and challenge themselves whatever the stage of their career. It allows team members time to explore their own research projects – an antidote to what founder Richard Ross calls the “frictionless answers” of Google – which are then fed back into the wider business. The business dramatically changed direction following the founder’s own MBA a decade ago, and it encourages structured learning throughout the team, sponsoring postgraduate degrees, and taking the long-term view when considering returns. The company’s masterclass series and links with university departments show ambitions to mark itself out as a leader in its field.

• Developing Experts

Starting with science, Developing Experts is a complete curriculum solution for children aged four to 14 years. It provides a growing library of more than 700 interactive, online lessons with practical investigation, handouts and assessment for learning activities fully mapped against multiple curricula including the National Curriculum. Lessons come with experts from university and industry and are narrated with unforgettable stories – told through stunning images and videos. Its assessment tools enable users to easily track each child’s progress through its interactive online quizzes, with the added benefit that each child and parent can revisit lesson content from home.

Judges’ comments: Developing Experts’ innovative online learning platform aims to support teachers in their lessons, and its data bank of more than 700 lessons from 100 leaders was built from scratch after extensive research. The platform has clearly met a need in the market and the company has impressive international growth ambitions, adapting its model to suit different education systems and cultures around the world. The company also has aspirations to promote careers in STEM subjects, and takes seriously its responsibility to inspire and inform the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

• Hethel Innovation

Hethel Innovation runs Hethel Engineering Centre, Scottow Enterprise Park and a range of support programmes to businesses, research institutions, academia and schools, as well as local communities. Hethel’s small team delivers economic development and growth, through enterprise, innovation, skills, technology development. They’ve supported more than 300 businesses, 200 business start-ups, the development of 100 new products, processes and services, brokered 77 collaborations and the created 1,500 jobs.

Judges’ comments: Hethel Innovation runs Hethel Engineering Centre and Scottow Enterprise Park on the former RAF Coltishall, which act as incubator units for start-up and scale-up businesses. In the past three years, the latter has grown to be home to more than 100 businesses, employing 500 people. Hethel Innovation has identified three emerging sectors – smart-tech, clean-tech and bio-tech – and supports and connects companies in those spaces, encouraging them to benchmark themselves, collaborate and become stronger together. The business-led approach asks experts to become ambassadors for their sector and the wider region, while the company seeks to engage people using pub workshops and library sessions.

• PBD Biotech

PBD Biotech was formed in 2017 to commercialise new technology to transform the global management of tuberculosis in cattle. Initial funding that year resulted in local manufacturing at Thurston and already securing major interest throughout the world. It is now recognised by Defra as a means to eradicate bovine TB but also has major implications in human health. A national food safety programme in Canadian dairy industry is already under way with plans to roll out similar programs internationally.

Judges’ comments: PBD Biotech has developed a technique to diagnose bovine tuberculosis using a simple, rapid and reliable test. Its actiphage technology was developed by the company in partnership with the University of Nottingham, and targets a disease which costs UK taxpayers £100m a year and last year led to the slaughter of 30,000 cattle. Its test also cuts the diagnosis time to just a few hours and eliminates false negatives. It has trialled its technology in France and Canada, setting up a subsidiary in North America for distribution and, eventually, manufacturing as it responds to global demand.

MORE: Revealed: The finalists for the Norfolk Business Awards 2018

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