Millennium Product Status
The Design Council of the UK informed us that Impact® had achieved ‘Millennium Product Status’. The Design Council was asked by the UK Government to select companies and products that represented “the best of innovation and creativity in British business”. The finest examples of the products were chosen and awarded ‘Millennium Product Status’. Forty-three such products have achieved this accolade in the medical sector including Impact®. Furthermore, Impact® was featured in ‘The Millennium Dome’, which was a US$1 billion project at Greenwich, London. It was designed to celebrate every side of human existence and endeavour as the human race enters the Third Millennium.
The Independent Living Design Awards
Welland received the Independent Living Design Award in October 1998. The event made Welland particularly proud as the recognition was partly under the auspices of PHAB the leading UK charity that supports the integration of disabled with able-bodied people.
Sussex Business Awards
In 1997 we were invited to compete in the Sussex Business Awards within the ‘Innovation’ category. This competition was run by Sussex Enterprise, which is the trading arm of the The Sussex Chamber of Commerce, Training and Enterprise.
The judges were a team of respected names from commercial and academic spheres and they named Impact® as the Innovation category winner. In doing so, they gave the very positive effect that the product could have on the quality of life for its users as a major reason for giving Welland top honours.
SMART Award Scheme
Welland Medical won two awards from the Government backed ‘SMART Award Scheme’. This was a valuable distinction to win as the DTI (Government Department of Trade and Industry, as it was then) gave grants to winners of the awards. Any small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that were trying to develop innovative new technologies were eligible. Both SMART I and II competitions were open to any UK SMEs and were highly competitive – especially since these Government grants were difficult to get and could be very valuable.
Welland won its SMART I grant in the 1993/94 competition. SMART I was for initial development of a product concept, through to the production of a working prototype. The SMART II award was for marketing development of a prototype and we won this in 1994/5. Again, this was a competitive scheme and so winning both awards was a demonstration of the accepted need for such a potentially life changing product.