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Excellence In Innovation Award 2020


Excellence in Innovation Award

040 BQF UK Excellence Awards 2020 - Excellence in Innovation Award

Innovation for the purposes of this award is defined simply as “a new thing or a new way of doing something”. Innovation may be a new product or service, a new process, new approaches to marketing or a new business model. It could be creating and moving into a brand new market and it could involve new technology.

Why apply?

There is in most organisations a need to be innovative if they are to continue to develop, grow and meet customers’ and other stakeholders’ expectations. This award offers the opportunity to showcase an innovation of which you are proud and which has provided your organisation with positive benefits – it may have changed the way you operate.

Who should apply?

This award welcomes entries from organisations that recognise the importance of innovation and have developed and implemented processes and initiatives which incorporate innovative thinking in the way it operates. It will be an opportunity to describe what is innovative and how the organisation knows that it is. There will be measures and results which can demonstrate the successes achieved.

How to apply?

Entry is simple – by completion of an online application form and submission of supporting evidence.

Application Criteria

The judges will be looking to understand more detail about your innovation and how it was developed and implemented within your organisation. They will want to know how other stakeholders have been involved in planning and implementation and to learn about the achievements and impact that the innovation has made and will hopefully make in the long term.


PLEASE NOTE: Gold and Gold Plus members are entitled to 1 free entry to either Excellence in Awards or the Lean Six Sigma Academy Award. Silver members are entitled to a half price entry to either Excellence in Awards or the Lean Six Sigma Academy Award.

£300 + VAT

per entry

£500 + VAT

per entry

£150 + VAT

per entry

Dates for your diary

Entries close

7 February 2020

Judging begins

February 2020

Shortlist will be announced

23 March 2020

Ceremony night

Autumn 2020 – date to be confirmed

MSC R&D Supports Innovation Award

At MSC R&D we’re passionate about Excellence and Innovation, that’s why sponsoring the Excellence in Innovation Award at the BQF UK Excellence Awards in 2020 makes perfect sense to us.

Established in 1990, we have worked with thousands of innovative companies, helping them accelerate their R&D programmes through our range of R&D Tax Relief and R&D Innovation funding services. We deliver these services through our fast track™, Blitz Day®, MSC R&D Team Way®; a unique approach underpinned by ISO9001:2015 and EFQM C2E.

Being involved throughout the innovation life cycle, we have experienced first-hand the impact a commitment to excellence can have on achieving successful innovation – reducing the risk, cost and time. That is why we are excited to be sponsoring the Excellence in Innovation Award and look forward to seeing some truly innovative applications.

Award Judges

Huw Alun Edwards

Associate at MSC R&D Limited

Huw Edwards

“My experience…

  • Expert technology advisor to MSC R&D Ltd since 2014 to date.
  • Innovation advisor to Governments, the research base and SMEs since 1990.
  • Chair of Horizon 2020 funding panels: IT for Health, Micro & Nano technology 2002-2019.
  • NHS Innovations panel 2007 to date.
  • Chair Thames Valley European Structural Investment Funds 2015 – to date, including funding for innovation. Member UK “Growth Programme Board” supporting skills, economic development and innovation in regional economies.
  • UK Foreign Office Newton Fund, Leaders in Innovation Fellowship programme, mentor on ten programmes over five years.
  • Past judge on the UK Schools Innovation Awards (Anglia TV).
  • Judge on the International Incubator Awards programme (Netherlands Government).
  • Assessor on the “European Innovative Technology” programme based in Munich.
  • Judge on the South Oxfordshire Business Awards 2017 – 19

My academic background is: a BA and PhD from Cambridge, followed by research at Oxford.  My business training in IT was at Elsevier in Amsterdam, followed by Director roles with Frost & Sullivan and NOP in London.

I have been actively engaged in supporting innovation for over 30 years.  Competitions and awards provide an opportunity to highlight and celebrate innovators, as encouragement to others.  I enjoy the exposure to new ideas and the chance to promote the innovative mindset.”

Jay Dunning

Head of Creativity and Design at DWF Ventures (part of DWF plc)


“As a recognised as a leader in the art of Serious Creativity, I have supported a vast number of businesses to understand, effectively implement and sustain Design Sprint, Design Thinking, and other Creative Problem Solving Techniques.

My role sees me leading lots of different teams at DWF focus designing new and interesting products and services in the legal market. My background as a former Lean Six Sigma black belt, a Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Award nominee, an attendee of the University of Oxford Business School’s MBA design elective and now a visiting lecturer at The University of Manchester for Creativity and Innovation at the Law school, means I’m constantly looking to build on a career on complex problem solving thinking, methods and approaches that inform real and sustained changes.

The BQF is where things formally started for me in a career of operational change and transformation roles, I first took your LSS Greenbelt course when I was back at RBS and got completely hooked on problem solving! I have never really looked back since.”

Neil Tookman

Head of Production Excellence at Smiths Group

Neil Tookman

“I have 15 years’ experience in product design, quality and engineering and currently leading Excellence in Lean, Production and Manufacturing Engineering for Smiths Group and our varied divisions.

At Smiths, Innovation in our products and processes help establish us as a leading technology company. Technology Differentiation and Increasing Digitisation are key characteristics of our business and this helps us sustain leading positions in our markets.

The Smiths Excellence System helps us apply best practice across the business and continuously improve what we do. In Production Excellence I am always looking for innovative thinking and technology that could improve the way we do things as we drive performance in our Factories and Service Centres.

Smiths are very proud to be a BQF member and are excited to engage with the BQF community. I am honoured to be considered as a juror and I am very interested to understand how our peers are driving innovation in their organisation.”

Awards FAQs

Can I nominate more than one person for this award?

Yes, you can enter as many individuals as you like for this Leadership Award.

Can I nominate myself for this award?

Individuals cannot apply themselves but should be nominated by a reporting line manager/Head of/Director or previous employer.  The nomination should be endorsed by an additional peer, stakeholder or client.

When is entry deadline?

Entry deadlines for the Innovation, Lean Six Sigma and Leadership awards are all on the 31st of October.

Awards Ceremony

The 2020 awards ceremony is taking place at 8 Northumberland Avenue in the city of London.

2019 Winners

Find out more about the 2019 winners from the UK Excellence Awards ceremony.