How Does the Queen’s Award Evaluate Innovation, and What Does It Mean for Winners?

The Queen’s Award is the most prestigious enterprise award in the UK. Companies lucky enough to have the honour of carrying the award will have contributed outstanding achievements to their industries. There are four categories for The Queen’s Award – innovation, international trade, sustainable development, and promoting opportunity through social mobility.

Below, we’ll focus on innovation, looking at how The Queen’s Award evaluates innovation and what that means for the winners.

The Queen’s Award History

The Queen’s Award quickly became the most prestigious business award soon after it came to fruition in the 1960s. Originally titled The Queen’s Award to Industry, it was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965, with the first award going to winners in 1966. In 1975, the award went through a rebrand to The Queen’s Awards for Export and Technology. Another rebrand in 1999 created The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

Since the creation of the award in 1966, over 7,000 companies in the UK have had the honour of winning it.

How The Queen’s Award Evaluates Innovation

Out of the four categories, one of the most prestigious is the innovation award. It goes to the companies making massive strides in multiple industries to transform processes, lives, and indeed, the world. For example, the June Medical surgical retractor won the queen’s award in 2021 because they managed to create a product that saved hospitals in the UK time, money, and resources.

Businesses can enter themselves for the award each year with a closing date towards the end of the year. A panel of experts will then evaluate how commercially successful said innovative product or service is. Once approved by the panel, the list of applicants is then sent to the Prime Minister for consideration and then to Her Majesty the Queen herself for approval.

Unsuccessful applicants receive feedback and can apply for the award the following year.

What It Means For The Winners

First and foremost, the winners have pride in being recognised for innovation by Her Majesty the Queen. It’s an award that typically takes years of hard work and dedication to achieve – thousands of applicants compete for it each year.

Winners attend a royal reception with the award presented by one of the Queen’s representatives, a Lord-Lieutenant. Plus, there are a whole other host of perks that add prestige to any business that owns the award. Companies that win the innovation award can fly the Queen’s awards flag at their main office and use the emblem for marketing materials.

Displaying the emblem for marketing can help secure new contracts and deals and is a distinct way of showing that the company was worthy of an innovation award. Additionally, winners also receive a Grant of Appointment (a certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is one that thousands of businesses in the UK strive to achieve, but it isn’t easy to win. Companies have to make a real impact commercially and publicly to be considered for the award. The innovation award can take years and multiple failed products or services to achieve.

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