First ever Innovation Awards wow guests in Portsmouth with stunning displays of impressive work as honours are handed out in 10 categories

DRONES, submersible crafts, incredible charity projects and big data advances were all part of the special event that wowed guests at the first Innovation Awards.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 8:03 pm

The event, organised by The News and its owner JPIMedia, in association with Portsmouth City Council, took place at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth on Thursday, November 4.

More than 120 guests gathered to see the latest innovations in our city and celebrate some of the most remarkable.

Ten awards were handed out across a range of categories that looked at different sectors such as health, education, community, defence and the environment.

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The Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth. Pictured are the winners. Picture: Sam Stephenson

It was the first time the event had been put on, after the original date last year was postponed due to coronavirus lockdowns.

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Editor of The News Mark Waldron praised the entries and thanked the sponsors, including headline sponsor BAE Systems, as well as the events team for putting on a spectacular showcase for our city.

He said: ‘This exciting new event has been designed to showcase what's already being achieved in the city and also create a buzz around our digital, innovation and creative sectors to encourage more innovators into the Portsmouth area.

The News Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel. Pictured is Mark Waldron editor at The News. Picture: Sam Stephenson 4th November 2021

‘These sectors have grown at a phenomenal rate, boost the local economy and underpin many aspects of business - and our lives.

‘So we felt it was time to shout about their immense contribution with an event to honour the pioneers from Portsmouth and surrounding areas.

‘Not only are we celebrating innovation, and the best in business, but we are doing so after a particularly tricky 18 months. So to see some of the wonderful work that has been going on in and around Portsmouth in the face of such challenging circumstances has been truly inspirational.’

Inspirational speeches were given by special guests Josh Robinson, from events business LMSUKMedia, who won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award at The News’ Business Excellence Awards this year and Becky Lodge, founder of Startup Disruptors.

The News Innovation Awards 2021 Picture: Sam Stephenson

Mike Woods, from Solent Sky Services, put on a display of his drone work, and guests also heard about the innovations happening at BAE Systems, the University of Portsmouth and in Portsmouth thanks to Portsmouth City Council.

Category sponsors handed out the honours on stage. Representatives from each business had also been involved in the judging process.

The top award of the evening – Innovative Business of the Year – was given to Datavault, which also was named Digital Innovation of the Year.

The Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth. Pictured: Health Innovation of the Year Sponsored by Portsmouth City Council Winner: Endometriosis South Coast (L-R) Cllr Ben Dowling, from sponsor Portsmouth City Council with Jodie Hughes, Steph Moss and Kate Dunston. Picture: Sam Stephenson

Datavault is a boutique IT consultancy based on Hayling Island helping corporate clients improve their use of data and analytics.

Sam Cole, from the firm, said they were shocked and proud to be honoured.

She said: ‘Thank you, we are a small firm in Hayling Island. We specialise in building data warehouses. Most of our staff have joined us in the last few year and we have grown our revenue by 150 per cent in that short time. We are pretty proud of our system. It is helping large companies in America, Australia and all over the world. Thank you for the recognition.’Another worthy award recipient was Portsmouth-based charity Urbond, which won Community Innovation of the Year.

Its founder Ousmane Drame said: ‘Thank you so much, we started in 2013, the reason we started was the division in the community. We have since reached over 30,000 people from 75 nationalities.

‘What we do in Portsmouth is really important. Let’s talk and see how we can make Portsmouth a better place for everyone.’

The night was praised by representatives from the sponsors.

The News Innovation awards 2021 in association with BAE Systems, taking place at the Village Hotel in Lakeside, Portsmouth, Hampshire. Pictured is Innovative Business of the Year Sponsored by GetSet Solent Winner: Business Thinking Limited (trading as Datavault) (L-R) Chris Fisher, Sam Cole, Alex Higgs. Picture: Sam Stephenson 4th November 2021

Nick Young, head of innovation labs at BAE Systems, said: ‘For me Portsmouth and innovation are synonymous.

‘The fact that the Portsmouth News has done this event is amazing, it’s been a real challenge. We want to make sure that BAE Systems stays heavily involved with these awards as innovation is core to what we do.

‘We are proud to be a sponsor and we are keen to get involved with people who are here tonight. We hope to come next year and the year after and the year after that.’

Dr Chris Worrall, innovation director at University of Portsmouth, said: ‘The reason I am so excited to be here tonight is about celebrating the work of the most innovative businesses in our region. As a sponsor I got to see a lot of the entries and I was surprised by the amount of businesses lurking in our region who have not been brought into the spotlight like this before.’

Cllr Ben Dowling, cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We are very pleased to be a sponsor of the awards this evening.

‘Portsmouth is full of some of the most creative and innovative problem solving people and it is great to be celebrating innovation in our city. Long may it continue.’

More coverage from the night, and a closer look at the winners, will follow in next week’s News, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Portsmouth Innovation Awards winners 2021

Data Science/AI Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by University of Portsmouth

Winner: Innovative Physics

Health Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by Portsmouth City Council

Winner: Endometriosis South Coast

Manufacturing Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by Portsmouth Water

Winner: TIPCI

Digital Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by Azets

Winner: Business Thinking Limited (trading as Datavault)

Defence/Maritime Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by Maritime UK Solent

Winner: Subsea

Education Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by The Portsmouth Grammar

Winner: Education Innovation UK

Community Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by StartUp Disruptors

Winner: Urbond

Highly Commended: Redundancy Support

Environmental Innovation of the Year

Sponsored by BAE Systems

Winner: Portsmouth Aqua

Young Innovator of the Year

Sponsored by Apollo Motor Group

Winner: Wireless Wild

Innovative Business of the Year

Sponsored by GetSet Solent

Winner: Business Thinking Limited (trading as Datavault)

Thank you to all our entries this year:

AARG - Apollo Accident Repair Group

Active Step

André's Food Bar

Apollo Motor Group

B4T

BAE Systems Maritime Services

BAE Systems, Maritime Services, Engineering & Digital Services

Business Thinking Limited (trading as Datavault)

Design 1805

Diamond Cut Refinishing

Education Innovation UK CIC

Endometriosis South Coast

Experience Hampshire

GHS Heating and Plumbing

Gunwharf Quays

Humangenergy

Innovative Physics

L&V Baby Attire

M12 Solutions

Mcdambi Catering and Events

OnlineDPO

Pellings Business Solutions

Pitman Training

Portico

Portsmouth Aqua

Portsmouth International Port

Radweb

Redundancy Support UK

Smooth Accounting

STS Defence

SubSea Craft

T.I.P.C.I Group

Tanya's Kitchen

The Allergy Collective

The Makers Guild CIC

Tillison Consulting

URBOND

Velma

Wireless Wild

World Wise Women - Online Magazine for Business Women

The News Innovation Awards 2021 Pictured is Nick Young from BAE Systems. Picture: Sam Stephenson
The Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth. Pictured: Manufacturing Innovation of the Year Sponsored by Portsmouth Water Winner: TIPCI (L-R) Christine Durkin representing TIPCI with sponsor Ian Limb from Portsmouth Water. Picture: Sam Stephenson
The News Innovation awards 2021 in association with BAE Systems, taking place at the Village Hotel in Lakeside, Portsmouth, Hampshire. Pictured is Dr Chris Worrall from Portsmouth Uni. Picture: Sam Stephenson 4th November 2021
The News Innovation Awards 2021 Picture: Sam Stephenson
The Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth. Pictured: Innovative Business of the Year Sponsored by GetSet Solent Winner: Business Thinking Limited (trading as Datavault) (L-R) Chris Fisher, Alex Higgs, Sam Cole from Datavault with Derek Ellis from GetSet Solent. Picture: Sam Stephenson
The Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth. Pictured: Data Science/AI Innovation of the Year Sponsored by University of Portsmouth Winner: Innovative Physics (L-R) Peter Kittermaster from Innovative Physics with sponsor Dr Chris Worrall from University of Portsmouth. Picture: Sam Stephenson
The Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth. Pictured: Young Innovator of the Year Sponsored by Apollo Motor Group Winner: Wireless Wild (L-R) Robert Ball, Kieran Wright, Samuel Gandy with sponsor Bradley Eyles from Apollo Motor Group. Picture: Sam Stephenson
The Innovation Awards 2021 at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth. Pictured: Environmental Innovation of the Year Sponsored by BAE Systems Winner: Portsmouth Aqua (L-R) Gary Driscoll, Simon Escott, Nick Scott, from Portsmouth Aqua with sponsor Nick Young from BAE Systems. Picture: Sam Stephenson