Friday 17 January 2020 – Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield. The North East’s brightest individuals and best companies from across the chemical and processing sector have been celebrated at the 14th Annual NEPIC Industry Awards.
Eight of the region’s rising young stars were honoured at the event that welcomed 430 industry guests. A further nine awards were received by exceptional companies, an eco-primary school and outstanding contributor.
Twenty-six thousand pounds was donated over the course of the evening – with £18,000 heading straight to North East schools to develop STEM projects and establish ever closer links between industry and academia to ensure the sector can continue to grow and prosper through the next generation of local talent.
Apprentice of the Year Awards went to Molly Conroy and Laura Lee of GSK and CPI’s Ben Gay for outstanding academic ability, early career progression, inspirational journeys and promotion of industry to the next generation.
“I had an absolutely fantastic night at the NEPIC annual awards ceremony” said apprentice winner, Laura Lee of GSK.
“It was a great opportunity to network with other companies and to win the completed Apprentice of the Year award made it even more special! The night was the perfect ending to my 3 year apprenticeship with GSK. Thank you to everyone who helped make the night so great and to the sponsors for their generosity.”
Young Achievers from across the region’s industry sectors were also awarded for their exceptional early career achievements. This year’s winners included Daniel Wallis, CPI; Adam Cullen, Lucite International; Heather Williams, WSP; Sam Trotter, Micropore Technologies and representing the supply chain category, Liam Sharpe of Tekgem UK Limited.
South African born award winner, Adam Cullen of Lucite International, said:
“I was fortunate enough to attend the 2020 NEPIC awards as a recipient of the Young Achiever award. NEPIC does an excellent job of fostering collaboration within the chemical sector in the North East. Attending the event really brought home to me the diversity of NEPIC’s membership base and the North East’s position as a world class chemical industry location.”
The success continued for Wilton-based firms CPI and Tekgem UK Limited. CPI picked up the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award and whilst Tekgem were crowned Small Business of the of Year.
Jodie Coe, Director of Organisation Development at CPI said:
“The three NEPIC awards won by CPI is fantastic recognition for many years hard work and commitment to develop and inspire the young people of the North East as well as the fantastic skills of the young people in our workforce and in our apprenticeship programmes.
“We are very proud of Dan and Ben for their achievements as well as the wider Biotechnology, Biologics and HR team that bring the apprenticeship programme together. We will continue to have a strong focus on the development of local young scientists and engineers and connect the dots between education, meaningful experience and growing a career industry.”
Badger Hill Academy took away the school environmental prize and £2,000 to help them embark on their eco-mission within the school and local community – and Malcolm Knott, managing director of Industrial Technology Systems, was announced the 2020 Outstanding Contribution winner.
Reflecting on his surprise win, Malcolm said:
“To be nominated for this award was humbling, to win it, left me both stunned and immensely proud. When NEPIC was floated as a concept all those years ago, I was determined to be involved. It’s a fantastic organisation. I’ve looked to drive change, while supporting NEPIC and the members as much I could over the years and always found NEPIC ready to improve in order to serve its members more. The feedback from those I’ve mentored has always been that it was gratefully received. I intend to go on promoting NEPIC and Tees Valley as a brilliant place with brilliant people.”
Company awards were also picked up by Reprotec (Corporate Environmental); Venator Materials plc (Communities & Reputation); ABB (Engineering Firm of the Year); Sterling Pharma Solutions (Manufacturer of the Year) and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (Innovation).
Karen Fenwick, Vice President Corporate Branding & Communications at Venator said:
“We’ve worked really hard to give back to the communities where we operate so to be recognised like this, it’s fantastic and we are very grateful. The best thing about activity like this is seeing those we’ve been able to help do things they might not otherwise have been able to do. You can’t help but feel good about it.
“With our community fund, in particular, we get a chance to visit some of the winners to see how they have used their award, these visits bring wide smiles and often goose bumps, such is the enthusiasm and passion of the winners. The work we do with schools and STEM is equally as rewarding not only for the schools but also for our associates who love the interaction with the scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians of tomorrow.”
Since the NEPIC Annual Industry awards started 14 years ago, a phenomenal total prize fund of £283,000 has been donated. Seventy-seven local schools have received £174,000 in support of STEM related projects, and the region’s young stars have received £103,000 between them. A further £6,000 has been donated in support of export mentoring.
The awards evening is made possible thanks to the tremendous support of event and award sponsors who include BOC-Linde, Altrad, Centre for Process Innovation, ITS, Alpek Polyester UK, Lucite International, Wolvistion Group, OCGI, Net Zero Teesside, Venator, px group, and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies.
Molly Conroy, GSK (Current Apprentice, Manufacturing)
Laura Lee, GSK (Completed Apprentice, Manufacturing)
Ben Gay, CPI (Service & Supply Chain Apprentice)
Daniel Wallis, CPI (Biotechnology)
Adam Cullen, Lucite International (Base Chemicals)
Heather Williams, WSP (Pharmaceuticals)
Sam Trotter, Micropore Technologies (Fine & Speciality)
Liam Sharpe, Tekgem UK Limited (Supply Chain)
SCHOOL WINNER: Badger Hill Academy, Brotton
CORPORATE WINNER: Reprotec
Beneficiary School: Durham Johnson Academy
Beneficiary School: Thornaby Academy
Beneficiary School: Northfield School & Sports College
WINNER: Tekgem UK Limited
Beneficiary School: Hunwick Primary School
Beneficiary School: Northfield School & Sports College
WINNER: Sterling Pharma Solutions
Beneficiary School: Cramlington Village Primary School
WINNER: FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies
Beneficiary Programme: St Augustine’s RC School
WINNER: Malcolm Knott, Managing Director, ITS
Beneficiary Programme: Children Challenging Industry
NEPIC is a not-for-profit organisation that supports the needs and interests of the chemical-processing sector in the North East of England. Essentially, NEPIC exists to ensure industry in this region thrives – and that there are investments, innovations and a network that will create jobs and opportunities long into the future.
By working closely with member companies, they forge meaningful business relationships that allow them to identify opportunities, facilitate connections, promote collaboration and enable growth. NEPIC also actively work beyond their traditional stakeholder base with universities, research institutes and public bodies to leverage additional value for the sector.