If your business is based in Guildford and breaking new ground in its industry, we want to hear from you. Now in its third year Guildford’s Innovation Awards 2019 supported by Kyan, has nine categories celebrating a spectrum of sectors from healthcare and technology to sustainability.

The annual industry awards serve as a forerunner to our free science, technology, engineering, maths and arts festival ‘Innovate Guildford’ for families held annually at GLive. The awards are open to individuals, social enterprises and businesses. Information supplied in the online application form will be used to shortlist entries. The deadline for submissions is noon on 31 October.

Leader of the Council Cllr Caroline Reeves, Lead Councillor for Sustainable Transport, Transformation and Regeneration, Economic Development and Governance says: ‘Innovation is a key corporate priority for the Council and we are committed to invigorating this theme in all areas. People in Guildford have made it one of the most dynamic and vibrant towns to live, work and visit in the South East and the annual Innovation Awards reflect this. Featuring regularly in the top five of various economic league tables particularly around innovation, entrepreneurship, access to investment and the number of start-up businesses, our borough is full of talent across all areas from healthcare and emerging technology to voluntary and creative sectors.’

She continues: ‘Over recent years our borough’s economy has developed from one with a relatively high public sector and manufacturing focus to one with a much higher proportion of high growth sectors such as gaming, cyber security, life sciences and telecoms. The total number of jobs in the borough is just over 70,000 with 7,440 businesses. Productivity, often measured based on GVA per head, is £36,165 which is above the UK and Surrey average. Rural enterprise and communities also continue to evolve and some 25% of all local jobs are located in our rural wards. Guildford is leading the way in innovation for Surrey and beyond.’

Guildford based digital product agency, Kyan are the main sponsors of the Awards for the second year. CEO Laurent Maquire says: ‘We’ve called Guildford ‘home’ since we began in 2002. We’re proud to be part of such a vibrant and inspiring community made up of so many unique people, from aspiring graduates to well-established businesses. Innovation is at that heart of what we all do, and that’s what puts Guildford on the map as a hub of future thinking and great opportunity.’

This year’s categories are:

Innovation in Retail – Sponsored by Experience Guildford. This award highlights businesses demonstrating successful implementation of change through innovation in retail strategy, products, procedures or technology.

Caring for the environment – Sponsored by Dunsfold. Open to all innovations in the fields of engineering, science and technology that demonstrate a contribution to genuine sustainability or innovation across a number of sectors including but not limited to – the rural environment; energy-saving technologies; improving the quality of urban life.

Innovation in Healthcare – Sponsored by The Whiteley Clinic. This award recognises research and development within animal and human health.

Innovation in the Voluntary and Charity sector – Sponsored by Tunsgate Quarter. This award is for an innovation by or for the voluntary sector, either designed or delivered by an organisation based in Guildford Borough, that addresses a genuine social need.

Innovation in the Creative Industries Sector – Sponsored by Charles Russell Speechlys. Open to organisations whose primary function is the delivery, development or production of the arts or creative services. This award will recognise the contribution the Arts industry makes to the economy and includes but is not limited to music, gaming and entertainment.

Emerging Technologies’Tomorrows World’ -Sponsored by Butt Miller. This award focusses on emerging and enabling technologies across all sectors of industry and areas of research. This is the category for inspirational solutions for tomorrow’s challenges, recognising the best of a ‘work in progress’.

Young business of the Year – sponsored by HR Depot. This award recognises companies trading for less than 24 months by the closing date of the Awards. It highlights the most inspiring launch and early development of a technology, product or service.

Digital Marketing – sponsored by Red Hot Penny. This new award aims to showcase the digital marketing agencies, consultancies or in-house teams and their interactive campaigns, promotions, creativity, communications or content.

Shooting Star – sponsored by Polystream. An award for young people (maximum age 25) who demonstrate outstanding innovative talent or promise. Nominations will be accepted from the nominee, an associate or employer.

In addition we will make an award for Most Outstanding Innovation – Sponsored by Kyan. This award will be given at the discretion of the judges to an individual, company, project or technology that in the judge’s opinion most successfully demonstrates creativity and innovation. The winner will have applied for one of the above awards.

See more on the awards here www.guildford.gov.uk/innovationawards and enter here www.guildford.gov.uk/article/22790/Innovation-Awards-Entry-Form