Three go head-to-head in Merseyside Innovation Awards final

A safety equipment manufacturer, an interactive learning room creator and the inventors of a new electricity delivery system will challenge for the 2016 Merseyside Innovation Award and a £10,000 cash prize.

The final of the MIA takes place on Thursday, June 30 at the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool, hosted by broadcaster Rob McLoughlin and featuring a judging panel made up of BBC North West political editor Arif Ansari, former MIA winner Neill Briggs - one of the creators of the BAC Mono supercar - and Howard Rose, Mast Group.

2015 Awards Winner Chiro Chem
Pictured: MIA 2015 Winner, Dr Paul Colborn
of Liverpool Chirochem

The panel will be asked to choose from the three finalists.

Reach and Rescue of Knowsley has designed and manufactured a long reach telescopic rescue system that helps emergency services to quickly access and save people and animals in distress in locations that are difficult for people to access, such as rocky coastal areas and fast-flowing rivers.

Their simple-to-use high strength pole can reach from 5m to 17m and is faster and safer to use than similar retrieval devices traditionally in use, such as fire hoses and throw bags. All their poles are manufactured here in Merseyside.

Southport digital technology firm Immersive Interactive has created a fully interactive environment that can be installed in both mainstream and special educational needs schools, universities and training centres for emergency service personnel.

By coupling hi-tech interactive flooring and walls with sensors that can emit smells and sounds, Immersive’s technology makes both simulating challenging environments and creating full sensory environments to help children’s learning possible.

Third finalist Extreme Low Energy from Formby has created an energy-efficient way to deliver power to businesses that saves 80% of the energy wasted by converting electricity from AC to DC and back.

By fitting or retro-fitting their system to a building, they can provide electricity through existing Ethernet cables, and eliminating the need for appliances such as computers to have a transformer box on the cable – massively reducing the loss of energy as heat that takes place during the transfer.

“We have had an incredible line-up of entries this year,” said Brian McCann, MIA founder and partner and director of MC Vanguard Corporate Finance.

“The diverse nature of the entries, from university spin-outs to entrepreneurs who have seen a need and taken the plunge to meet it, has been inspirational.

“I’d like to thank all those who entered and congratulate our three excellent finalists. This is going to be a really tough decision for the judges so I’m glad I’m not one of them!”

This year the MIA will give out two awards – one for businesses with a turnover of up to £1m, which includes a £10,000 prize, and a second for businesses between £1m and £25m turnover which will be announced on the night. Read about last year's awards ceremony and winner here.

For furtther information about the Merseyside Innovation Awards please email Cara Bartlett.

This story originally featured in Insider North West and can be read here.

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