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Awards honour most innovative companies


Network management specialist Parallel was named Technology-Led Business of the Year and won the overall bright Sparc Award, while Acuigen collected the award for Best Use of Technology by a Business.
Luton-based businessman Derek Cameron, who founded IT solutions provider Eximium, is this year’s   Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.
The awards were presented by Milton Keynes-based Sparc Technology Network at a special ceremony held Cranfield University.
From the winners of five categories Cranfield-based Parallel Ltd was chosen as the recipient of the overall Bright Sparc Award sponsored by Invest Milton Keynes.
Parallel was chosen as the winner of the overall Bright Sparc Award because the judges agreed that this highly innovative company best exemplified true technology led innovation. It has doubled its revenues in the last two years and is set to repeat this in the coming year, bucking the international recessionary trend.
The company, based at Cranfield Technology Park, won the category for Technology Led Business of the Year sponsored by Bedford i-lab. It has developed the highly integrated and automated, satellite aware, Network Operations Centre software suite SatManage that has become a market leader.
Chief executive officer James Dell said “We are experiencing rapid growth across all VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) communication sectors, particularly in maritime. SatManage gives our customers a market-leading differentiator creating more revenue streams for them. We are immensely proud of our work and winning the Bright Sparc Award is another significant milestone for us. We intend to keep the innovations coming.
Acuigen Ltd, based at Cranfield Innovation Centre, won the Bright Sparc Award for Best Use of Technology by a Business , a category sponsored by the University of Bedfordshire. Its winning technology CustomServe is an advanced Knowledge Management System, used to manage customer and client feedback.
Chris Dunkley, Sparc’s network director and director of Milton Keynes Enterprise Hub, said: “The Bright Sparc Awards have provided an excellent opportunity to celebrate the achievements of some of the region’s most innovative entrepreneurs and technology-led businesses.
“Parallel Ltd, has firmly established SatManage as a cutting-edge product and the only one of its kind in the industry. Its successful combination of innovation and entrepreneurialism has enabled its business to thrive despite the difficult economic climate.”
The winners received with a specially made Bright Sparc Awards prize and were given space and marketing material to exhibit at the Cranfield VentureDay – a one-day conference and networking event for entrepreneurs.
Immad Akhund, co-founder and chief executive of Harrow-based Heyzap.com, won the Bright Sparc Award for Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Cranfield University Business Incubation Centre and St. Modwen.
For the second year running 0xford-based TimberWindows.com was announced as a Bright Sparc Award winner. This year the company won the award for Best Use of Sustainable Technology, sponsored by Silverstone Innovation Centre.