Queens Awards City A.M. 2019




Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

carry kudos around the planet

Royal Warrants identify companies considered to be

at the forefront of trade, innovation and development


for Enterprise 2019 are

more than the blue ribbon

for identifying UK business

success – they are also

seen by many in the City as

signposting companies in

terms of ongoing investment

opportunity potential.

When it comes to the runners

and riders in terms of innovation,

international trade, sustainable

development and promoting

opportunity through social mobility,

here are companies that are seen

as favourites to be first past the

commercial post.

Each of the companies named as

winner has been through a rigorous

screening process before the judging

panel awarded the Royal Warrant,

which previous winners have all

reported has resulted in worldwide

recognition, increased commercial

value, greater press coverage and a

boost to staff morale.

The fact that international trade has

set the pace in the award stakes since

they were launched will be welcome

news for the government in terms of

overseas revenue as the UK remains

in the shadow of Brexit.

All the winners have had to

demonstrate that their business

has achieved substantial growth

in overseas earnings and

in commercial success –

contingent on the size of

their business and sector –

through either outstanding

achievement over three years

or continuous achievement

over six years.

This in-depth report looks

at four companies that are

blazing trails in overseas markets.

Aviation News was set up in 2010

and produces industry journals and

organises global conferences serving

the international aviation finance and

leasing industry.

It has shown triple digit revenue

growth in every one of its eight years

of business, despite being hit hard

by the fall of sterling following the

Brexit referendum. Profit margins

during the eight years of account

have averaged 35%, rising to 41% in

the most recent year. In the past five

years, Aviation News has donated

a percentage of profits each year to

various charities.

Adaptavist is a British automation

software innovator which is

headquartered in London with

offices across Europe, North

America and Asia.

Its clients range from

NASA to Oracle, the BBC to

Volkswagen, and Siemens to

WD-40. In the last six years,

half of the company’s software

sales and more than a third

of its services revenues

have come from clients in 60

countries who make up more

than half of the Fortune 500.

Adaptavist has also recently

been named in the Deloitte Fastest

Growing Companies list and The

Sunday Times Top 100 companies.

BioStrata is a specialist marketing

communications agency connecting

companies in the life science sector

with customers worldwide in

order to assist in the adoption of

cutting-edge products and services

that drive scientific discovery and

impact the world.

The agency’s international sales

over the last three years have grown

from £445k to £1 million, an increase

of 125%. Today, it is headquartered

in Cambridge, with an office in

Boston, USA.

Innovation, while it comes second

in terms of the number of awards, is

seen to have equal importance, as it so

often underpins successful companies.

One such innovator singled out to

be covered in this report is SciChart.

SciChart’s game-changing

innovation was to combine proprietary

data resampling algorithms and

technology from the gaming industry

for speed and performance of graphics

with enterprise software applications,

resulting in a software library which

was able to draw charts, graphs and

other visualisations many orders of

magnitude faster than competitors.

Like the remainder of the winners,

all the companies featured in this

report will now be attending a garden

party in their honour hosted by Her

Majesty The Queen.

Two to watch

Dotmatics, winner of

the Queen’s Award for

International Trade.

This global scientific

informatics provider

was founded in 2005 by

Stephen Gallagher and

Alastair Hill. Recognising

there was a growing

need in research and

discovery for solutions

to help manage and

interrogate large volumes

of scientific data, Stephen

and Alastair developed a

unique capability allowing

researchers to access all of

their data, all of the time.

From its UK beginnings,

Dotmatics has grown its

global reach significantly

– overseas sales have

increased 375% and

exports have risen from

69% to 85%.

It has opened offices in

San Diego, Boston, Seoul,

Tokyo and Melbourne

to serve this global

customer base. As a

result, Dotmatics receives

the Queen’s Award for

International Trade.

Stephen and Alastair

commented: “We are

thrilled to be honoured

with this Queen’s Award.

“We have worked

hard on international

trade since the company’s

inception and saw it as a

necessity for Dotmatics’

success right from

the beginning.”

Chipside, winner of

the Queen’s Award for


Founded by Paul Moorby

OBE in 2003, Chipside

is a specialist software

development company

providing digital ticketing

and permitting products

and services to more than

half of all local and national

government authorities in

the UK.

Chipside enables the

simple, effective and

efficient delivery of

connected city initiatives.

The first digital platform

of its kind, its automated

processes deliver vast cost

saving benefits and data

analysis opportunities.

Chipside is instrumental

in helping local authorities

combine large data sets –

such as analysis of traffic

flows – with real-time

on-street parking for

demand-led tariffs and

decisions around traffic

management policies.

Investing in innovation

to continually improve its

software suite, Chipside

developed digital permit

platform MiPermit to

enable the public to

self-service their legal

permit needs with local

councils, towns, cities, or

regional governments.

It is now used by more

than three million people in

the UK alone.

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Partners Finance



Plane View Partners


Nordic Aviation Capital

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Aviation News Ltd on cloud nine

with international trade accolade

Aviation News Ltd

receives award for six

years of unbroken

international trade

growth. Between 2013

and 2018, international

sales grew by 1,440% to

more than £2.9 million

By Connell Angus


been honoured with a Queen’s

Award for Enterprise for

International Trade. The

organisation is one of 201

nationally to be recognised

with one of the UK’s most prestigious

business awards, with winners approved

by Her Majesty The Queen.

The awards were established in 1965,

and in their 53-year history they have

recognised the achievements of more

than 7,000 businesses.

They celebrate the success of

innovative businesses that are leading

the way with pioneering products or

services, delivering impressive social

mobility programmes or showing

their commitment to sustainable

development practices.

Based in Trent Vale, Newcastle-

Under-Lyme, Staffordshire, Aviation

News Ltd was founded in 2010 by

husband-and-wife team Philip and

Victoria Tozer-Pennington, along

with equity partner and friend Dino

D’Amore. Using every spare moment

outside of their jobs, the team began

the brand with an online daily

newsletter for the aviation finance

and leasing industry.

Philip was primarily responsible

for sales, product development and

sometimes commented on the day’s

news, journalist Victoria reported on

the daily news, and Dino provided

technical and web support. Despite the

challenges of being entirely self-funded,

the newsletter soon became essential

reading for the commercial aviation

finance and leasing community.

“We are thrilled to receive this

recognition of our six years of consistent

growth in international trade,” said

Philip, Victoria and Dino.

“Starting a new business while

raising young families and expanding

organically is not an easy task, but this

award makes all of those late nights

and working weekends more than

worth it. We are continuing to

grow internationally.”

Their first full-print publication,

Airline Economics, is respected in the

industry for its candour and insightful

analysis of industry news and

events. Aviation News Ltd is also behind

Aviation News Ltd co-founders and directors, from left, Dino D’Amore, and Victoria and Philip Tozer-Pennington said they were “thrilled” to have received with The Queen’s Award for

International Trade. On average, 88% of the company’s annual business comes from outside of the United Kingdom

MRO Global, a publication dedicated

to the maintenance, repair and overhaul

aviation industry, along with several

annual reports including the Finance &

Leasing Guide, the Aviation Law Guide,

and the Aero Engine Yearbook.

Most recently, diversifying away

slightly from its core audience, the team

launched Aviation Life, a magazine

that covers future technology – from

vertical take-off air taxis and electric

cars to commercial space developments,

adventurous travel, food and traveller

health, all from the perspective of an

aviation industry professional.

Since 2013, Airline Economics

has launched Growth Frontiers

conferences around the world, with

large conventions in Seoul, London,

Dubai, Tel Aviv, New York and Hong

Kong. The Hong Kong and New York

Growth Frontiers conventions are the

fastest-growing Airline Economics

events, attracting domestic and also

international delegates.

Aviation News Ltd also has an Irish

subsidiary, Aviation News (Ireland) Ltd,

which holds a very large exhibition

each May at the Royal Dublin Society.

Aviation News Ltd has shown

triple-digit revenue growth in

every one of its eight years of

business, despite being hit hard

by the fall of sterling following the

Brexit referendum.

Profit margins during the eight years

Aviation News Ltd also specialises in hosting ultra-large conferences worldwide


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of account have averaged at 35%, rising

to 41% in the most recent year. In the

past five years, Aviation News Ltd has

donated a percentage of profits each

year to various charities.

Since inception, Aviation News Ltd

has maintained its core aim of reducing

costs to delegates and sponsors. Since

entering the conference and exhibition

space, the company has cut the cost

to delegates by 62% and the cost to

sponsors by an average of 50%, not only

at events, but by compelling competitors

to lower their prices.

Over recent years, through innovative

deals with suppliers, Aviation News

Ltd has been able to demonetise many

events for delegates while holding its

margins intact. The levels of spend at

the company’s conferences and events

continue to be around double that of

competitors as it sets the bar ever higher

with ultra-large conferences.

Aviation News Ltd is now looking

to extend its business model into other

sectors, including renewables and

general finance.

The company will celebrate its

accolade during a royal reception

for Queen’s Awards winners in the

summer at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

include 129 awards for international

trade, 61 for innovation, six for

sustainable development and five

for promoting opportunity.


Members of Adaptavist’s global team who are supporting clients in 60 countries with software solutions aimed at increasing business productivity

Adaptavist established as the

‘go-to’ partner for Fortune 500

Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International

Trade category ‘testament to hard work and talent

of team’ at British automation software innovator

By Richie Bell


employees worldwide

spending half their

working day doing

manual tasks, the need

for IT to facilitate

automation has never been greater.

That’s the underlying reason why

British automation software innovator

Adaptavist has won the Queen’s Award

for Enterprise in the International

Trade category.

In the last six years, half of

Adaptavist’s software sales and more

than a third of its services revenues have

come from clients in 60 countries who

make up more than half of the Fortune

500. Adaptavist helps the world’s

most complex companies make radical

changes to the way they use software

for digital transformation, creating

competitive advantage.

This year, Adaptavist’s global

expansion will continue with new offices

set to open in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia),

Tartu (Estonia) and Madrid (Spain).

And this will contribute to its continuing

employee growth of 50% year on year.

The firm is also witnessing massive

growth, increasing revenue 300% year

on year from the cloud and adoption of

cloud licences growing by more than

70%. It’s no surprise that Adaptavist

has recently been named in the Deloitte

Fastest Growing Companies list and

The Sunday Times Top 100 companies.

Headquartered in London and with

offices across Europe, North America

and Asia, its clients range from NASA

to Oracle, the BBC to Volkswagen, and

Siemens to WD-40.

The company’s ongoing success

has been built on its partnership

with Atlassian, the Australian-based

enterprise software company that

provides tools for software developers,

project managers, and content

management. Atlassian is best known

for its issue tracking application, Jira,

and its team collaboration and wiki

product, Confluence.

Having worked with Atlassian since

it developed the early versions of its

software – Adaptavist was the first

UK company to see the true potential

for the software – the company

has developed a deep technical

understanding of how to implement,

optimise and scale these tools.

Today, Adaptavist is the leading

Atlassian partner globally for

professional services, managed services,

training and Atlassian apps. Adaptavist’s

top-level partnership status has helped

fuel its own growth by providing

consultancy, add-on products, training

and support services to help enterprises

derive competitive advantage from

improvements in their software and

IT processes, making significant

strides to achieve its aim “to be the

biggest and best Atlassian partner by

all reasonable measures”.

Driving digital transformation and innovation

A veteran of a range of tech

businesses, Simon has led

Adaptavist since 2010.

He has senior technical experience

at board and CxO level, with broad

experience of design, new build,

project, integration and

operational management.

“The growth in software automation

and digital transformation provides

firms with a huge opportunity

to drive greater innovation and

creativity, but they often need

guidance and tools to make this

change business as usual,” says

Simon. “It’s an exciting time and one

that we are playing a key role in.”

Adaptavist CEO Simon Haighton-Williams

Not that Adaptavist is alone in

its market sector. One of its clients

– the 150-year-old John Lewis

Partnership (JLP) – looked seriously

at three potential suppliers, all of them

accredited by Atlassian, to find hosting

support and consultancy expertise across

the complete Atlassian suite of tools.

Claire Nelson, JLP’s methods and

tools lead, opted for Adaptavist because

of its focus and expertise. “Key factors,”

she said “included their passion for the

toolset and demonstrable close links to

the Atlassian team.”

Adaptavist is now considered the

“go-to” partner in the Atlassian

ecosystem, frequently recommended

by Atlassian itself, especially when the

requirement is complex, innovative or

another partner has failed to deliver.

Adaptavist is able to deal with the most

complex processes and organisations, as

well as large-scale implementations.

As such, Adaptavist attracts the best

talent in its sector and has developed

some of the most popular Atlassian apps

(add-ons) including ScriptRunner for

Jira, which has more than 20,000 active

installations (used by around 25% of

all Jira instances).

The foundations of Adaptavist are

built on the exceptional technical talents

of its developers, support engineers and

architects that saw the company awarded

the inaugural Atlassian President’s

Award for Technical Excellence.

“Adaptavist has been a strong

ecosystem partner for many years,” said

Atlassian’s president, Jay Simons. “The

work they do with some of our largest

and most complex Atlassian customers

is, by all accounts, superb. They’ve

evolved and adapted with our products

and continue to demonstrate the strength

of our ecosystem and expert partners.”

In addition to its development

services, Adaptavist has built a

reputation for its diagnostic and problem

resolution skills and its consulting

advisory services have helped many

clients maximise their investment in

Atlassian products. All of these services

are fully backed up with training both

on and off-site to support the end user in

making the most of the ecosystem.

Export has also become vital to the

Adaptavist success story. With software

a core part of every industry, this has

created an opportunity for Adaptavist

to export its expertise globally. If the

company wasn’t able to address a global

market for Atlassian add-ons – and

customers that use Atlassian and need

to find ways to extend, integrate and

automate their software – it would be

difficult to justify investing in new

product development, as the UK

alone wouldn’t be a large enough

addressable market.

Nor, for that matter, would the

company now be able to use the globally

revered Queen’s Award.

Commenting on the company winning

the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the

International Trade category, Simon

Haighton-Williams, CEO of Adaptavist,

said: “This is a truly prestigious national

award and a great achievement for

the business.

“It’s a testament to the hard work and

talent of the team here at Adaptavist,

who pride themselves on creating

great products, effective solutions and

outstanding service every day so

that our customers in turn can be

more productive.”

4 | Insight | worldinsight.co.uk


BioStrata combines science and strategy

Headquartered in Cambridge, this international

marketing and public relations agency is one that

not only claims to be specialist, but actually is

By Mike Cowley


understand why BioStrata has won

the Queen’s Award for Enterprise

in the International Trade category

– for here is a specialist marketing

communications agency that has

effectively broken the mould to underpin

the success of its now global life science

client base.

Headquartered in Cambridge, the

reason given for the award was the

company’s international sales over the

last three years which have grown from

£445,000 to £1,000,000.

But there is more to the BioStrata

success story than the booming sales

figures reveal. It is down to innovation

– being different is the rationale. This

is an international marketing and public

relations agency that not only claims to

be specialist, but actually is.

Started by Paul Avery PhD and Clare

Russell PhD in 2014, the founders

realised that buyers now controlled the

sales conversation, so they would need

to deliver more than the traditional,

interruptive marketing mix that

was failing in the customer-centric,

information-rich modern world.

First off, they began to gather a team

around them who has been there and

done that – fellow PhD-holders, highly

qualified scientists, people who had

spent time in relevant laboratories,

the common denominator being they

all spoke the language of life science.

As Paul explains: “We know how life

science customers think, feel and buy –

after all, we used to be them.”

Now with offices in Cambridge (UK)

and Boston (US), the team includes a

significant number of people with deep

scientific experience and knowledge of

the life science sector combined with

the necessary marketing and public

relations know-how. That’s why they

have been able to partner with a client

base ranging from companies providing

life science research tools, diagnostics

and lab automation solutions, to those

working in the food and environmental

technology, biotechnology, drug

discovery and pharmaceutical sectors.

With 100 years of experience between

them, the BioStrata line-up has turned

marketing on its head. Instead of the

focus being on outbound methods,

chasing customers for their clients,

they championed inbound marketing,

a strategy that attracts prospects to

relevant life science companies.

This is because BioStrata decided that

life science is perfectly suited to inbound

marketing, as scientific buyers are often

cynical about traditional methods with

overt sales messages and prefer to make

Sizable draw of SciChart’s

innovative software solutions

visualised across industries

By Michael White

SciChart Ltd, which creates software

to chart big data visualisations for

financial services and scientific

research companies, has been

honoured with a Queen’s Award for

Enterprise for Innovation. SciChart is

one of only 61 firms to be recognised

in the innovation category, and the

only software development company

recognised within the industry.

Founded in 2010, SciChart

designs, develops and sells a

software component to business

and enterprise to draw fast, visuallyappealing

graphs, graphics and

visualisations for the scientific,

medical, financial and engineering


Drawing upon his experiences as a

software consultant from investment

banking to scientific research,

director and software architect

Dr Andrew Burnett-Thompson

identified the need for faster

graphics and visualisation in business

applications in order to quickly

display the large amount of data that

scientific or financial firms generate.

SciChart’s game-changing

innovation was to combine

proprietary data resampling

algorithms and technology from

the gaming industry for speed

and performance of graphics with

enterprise software applications,

resulting in a software library that

was able to draw charts, graphs and

other visualisations many orders of

magnitude faster than competitors.

As a result, SciChart’s software

opened up new markets for their

clients, allowing them to create

previously-impossible projects,

where competitor charting software

was simply too slow to be usable.

SciChart’s software is used by all

kinds of industries that require fast,

real-time, big-data charts, graphs or

visualisation on Windows desktop,

mobile or embedded systems.

Applications include visualisation of

tumour imaging data in cutting-edge

cancer research, tracking Formula 1

vehicle parameters during races,

analysing real-time financial data

for making trading decisions, and

providing the charts and graphs for

Life science specialist marketing communication agency BioStrata was founded by Clare Russell and Paul Avery in 2014

up their own minds based on their own

research and analysis. Instead, these

knowledgeable audiences prefer to turn

to research to find what they want.

So, BioStrata effectively baits

the lines on the web with relevant,

compelling content about their clients’

products and services, and draws in

prospective customers.

And it has worked. One of BioStrata’s

early clients was the precision

diagnostics company Protagen AG.

“I trusted BioStrata to provide

an integrated program of inbound

low-cost electrocardiogram devices

used in the developing world.

In each of these examples,

SciChart’s fast, real-time charts and

graphs enabled customers to bring

to market cutting-edge innovations

at a fraction of the cost and time of

developing the graphics software

themselves. As a result, SciChart

has grown organically from

a single-person company to a

small business with just under

20 full-time staff, with thousands

of customers worldwide and all

without outside investment or debt,

overtaking established competitors

with larger resources.

SciChart has secured a position

as “best in class” for charting and

marketing and public relations

services over a number of years,” says

Dr Georg Lautcham, former CEO

of Protagen AG, which was recently

acquired by OncImmune.

“The team’s ethos is centred around

collaboration and partnership, which

ensured I was able to rely on them to

proactively identify new opportunities

on a day-to-day basis, but also to

provide valuable strategic counsel on

key issues when it mattered most.”

Nor has BioStrata rested on its

laurels in terms of adopting a different,

graphics software and continues

to innovate, driving performance

improvements, supporting new

platforms and features, helping its

customers to conquer new sectors

and drive market share.

Dr Burnett-Thompson said: “We

are honoured that we have been

recognised with this award,

and that the UK’s technology

sector continues to be celebrated.

specialist approach to public relations.

In April this year, BioStrata launched

Life Science Newswire, a breakthrough

targeted press release distribution

service to help companies reach industry

journalists and editors worldwide with

life science and healthcare news they’ll

find interesting.

“The year-on-year growth marked

by our Queen’s Award helps us to

invest in our people and in nurturing

creativity and innovation, and to strive

for greater success for our clients,”

comments Clare.

SciChart designs and sells a software component for businesses to draw fast, visually-appealing graphs, graphics and visualisations in

scientific, medical, financial and engineering applications

“It’s been amazing to see the

uptake of SciChart across business

and research.

“To have our work recognised for

its innovation is a true testament to,

not only the team at SciChart, but

also our amazing customers and

how they have implemented this

technology to further

scientific causes and business


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