Four companies in Sunderland and County Durham were among a record haul of firms in the North East that have been given the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Hyperdrive Innovation in Sunderland (pictured above) and Inflo Group in Houghton-le-Spring, both won their awards for innovation.

The other two County Durham companies were Acorn Dairies in Darlington and Filtronic in Sedgefield.

The quartet were among eight companies in the North East of England – the highest number ever for the region – who had the honour of receiving royal recognition.

The award-winning businesses ranged from architecture to manufacturing, software and ethical beauty products to education and skills.

Their individual awards are for innovation, international trading, sustainable development or promoting opportunity.

Sue Winfield OBE , the Lord Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, said: “I want to congratulate those businesses in Tyne and Wear for their success in receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

“I am delighted for them and it is great recognition for their work.”

Nationwide, there were a total of 205 winners this year.

The Awards are designed to recognise and encourage outstanding achievements in the fields of:

• innovation
• international trade
• sustainable development
• promoting opportunity (through social mobility)

Sunderland-based Hyperdrive Innovation, established in 2012, designs, develops and manufactures lithium ion battery systems.

The company has developed a modular, scalable and flexible battery pack based on lithium-ion battery technology.

Their product can be adapted for use in numerous industries, including Rail, Material Handling, Off-Highway and Energy Storage.

The technology is covered with numerous patents pertaining to the battery pack design, battery management system, and assembly methodology.

The product, HY Energy Battery Pack, combines high-performance lithium ion nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery chemistry with a proprietary battery management system.

The company identified the need for efficient battery systems in many applications and has adapted technology more commonly used in the automotive industry to make it applicable across many industries.

Founded in 2015, Inflo Group provides financial data analytics and auditing software solutions for accountants and firms and was developed and computed by artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The company’s software is a cloud-based application separated into eight key modules, incorporating machine learning and user configuration.

The software is unique in the accountancy market and in its level of integration.

The inclusion of machine learning in automated testing and analysis modules helps accountants identify potential risk areas in financial data.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales has partnered with Inflo to evolve the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) qualification as part of an initiative to incorporate emerging technologies into accountancy education.

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