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    NAA 2013 Award Winner Profile: Innovation Company Of The Year Award

    Sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover and presented by Richard Else, Plant Operations Director

    How the award winner was assessed

    Innovation can mean many things to many people but the clear remit for this award was that it is technical innovation of either a product or a process. This was our most popular award category and our finalists represented both product and process innovation. The key item that the judges were looking for was ‘is this a game-changing innovation?’

    Winner – FAR UK

    FAR is a newly formed material company aiming to bring innovative, cost effective composite materials into production within the automotive section, especially for mass market applications.

    The company is developing five innovative processes. Process 4 is the first to go through the introduction process, enabling niche vehicle manufacturers to produce shapes with carbon fibre that are currently only achievable through metal casting techniques, with the aim of being a cost comparable solution, but with significant weight reduction. The initial application used to demonstrate this process to mainstream automotive companies is wheelchair design. By using this process the wheelchair design can be customised to specific requirements such as frame width, seat angle, axle position, foot rest positions and handle options at a cost of around 30% less than current carbon fibre wheelchairs, thereby opening up the market to a much larger range of users.

    Lyndon Sanders, Director/General Manager at FAR UK, said “We are delighted to win the Northwest Automotive Alliance Award for Innovation. We are very encouraged by this both because it is an award from a key automotive industry body and because it recognises our innovative achievements only 13 months after we started trading. This is great news for us and we are very proud to have received this level of recognition.”

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham