A report ranking 50 of the Midlands’ most innovative businesses has been published today by Birmingham-based law firm Mills & Reeve as part of its biennial ‘Innovation 50’ – a campaign that celebrates the region’s R&D royalty, industry groundbreakers and rising stars.
The report, compiled by Mills & Reeve, highlights innovative success stories from across the region and features 50 businesses across five categories: Business intelligence and performance; Communication; Development and inclusivity; Healthier, safer lives and Place and environment.
A select group of business leaders from across the East and West Midlands were part of the expert panel that selected the final 50 from this year’s applications, which this year saw a 10% increase in entries compared to the inaugural campaign in 2017. The panel judged entrants on both their originality and impact, with the 50 highest-scoring businesses securing their place in the report.
Steve Allen, Head of the Birmingham office at Mills & Reeve, said: “Innovation is at the heart of what we do at Mills & Reeve. From pushing boundaries in our own products and services – earning us a place in the 2019 FT Innovative Lawyers Top 50 and wins at the Legal Week Innovation Awards – to celebrating those that are making waves in their markets, we’re on a mission to encourage and recognise forward-thinking business activity that solves problems.
“We launched the Innovation 50 in 2017 to celebrate Midlands businesses at their most enterprising, confident and creative. Two years on, and the buzz around the region has only grown – with the quality of 2019 entries showing that we more than live up to our national reputation. From social enterprise to telecoms and business support to agritech, the 2019 Innovation 50 is leading the way with fresh ideas and standout execution. We’re proud to launch the latest report, and look forward to seeing the journeys that these businesses take in the coming years.”
Among the businesses recognised were 10 featured in the 2017 report, demonstrating their continued innovation. These include technology contractor and master systems integrator Vanti, which since 2017 has launched its own platform, SmartCore, which integrates the tech involved in smart buildings to ensure a consistent user experience, and Transreport, which through its Rail Assist app has revolutionised rail travel for disabled passengers.
New Innovation 50 businesses include Wearable Link, winner of Colmore Tang’s £10M ‘ConstrucTech’ funding package, which harnesses the power of connected infrastructure to increase safety for construction workers, and the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE), which recently hit national headlines for its work developing the world’s first hydrogen-powered train.
The 2019 Innovation 50 was launched to coincide with the opening of the refurbished Mills & Reeve office, with a video package showcasing the achievements of the 2017 Innovation 50, watch the full video here.
The 2019 Innovation 50 applicants were judged by an expert panel including:
Paul Bassi CBE, CEO REI PLC
· Anita Bhalla OBE, Chair, Performances Birmingham
· Victoria Copestake, Business Development Manager, Enterprise Loans
· Andrew Dawson, Director and Co-Founder, Curium Solutions
· Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
· James Fry, Partner and Head of Life Sciences, Mills & Reeve
· Susan Hallam MBE, Founder and CEO, Hallam Internet
· Mark Hipwell, Pre-Construction Manager, HS2, and GBCC Future Faces President
· Kath Preston, Enterprise Consultant, Aston University
· David Varnham, Parker, Banking and Finance, Mills & Reeve
· Keith Webb, Deputy Regional Manager, Corporate Banking – Midlands Region, HSBC UK
· Tracy Westall, Executive Chair, Curium Solutions