PAC Group only NI firm to win Queen's Award for Innovation 2021

  • Engineering company, PAC Group, have been named as a winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation – the UK’s highest accolade in recognising success in business.

    The company, based in Belfast, received the award in recognition of the outstanding innovation and commercial success of their carbon composite Hot Drape Former technology and machines, which are used to manufacture components for the aerospace, automotive, and marine sectors.

    The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for UK businesses and other organisations that excel in any of three categories; International Trade, Innovation, and Sustainable Development.

    A total of just five companies from Northern Ireland have been awarded Queen’s Awards in 2021, with PAC Group being the only NI winner of the Innovation category, and the first Northern Ireland Innovation category winner for three years.

    Established in 2018, the electrical and mechanical engineering company have had a remarkable growth journey, doubling their turnover and employee numbers since 2019. In 2020, the company invested almost £500,000 in a new premises in Dargan Crescent, Belfast, and now employ 40 people.

    RELATED: 'Innovation is vital for NI's recovery'

    Darren Leslie, Business Development Director at PAC Group, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. It is a fantastic endorsement for our company to be recognised as world-class, and it is welcome recognition of our team’s capabilities and hard work.

    "It also recognises how innovative our carbon composite preforming technology is, which brings significant benefits to industries seeking to lightweight their structures to tackle climate change and in response to the Green Agenda.”

    The award follows PAC Group’s recent prestigious Platinum Level Innovator status from Innovate NI, the highest accolade available in the Department for the Economy Innovation Accreditation Programme, which is delivered by Invest Northern Ireland, local councils, and further education colleges.

    Holding 42 patents on the hardware and software, the company’s preformer machines have been purchased by companies such as Spirit AeroSystems, the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Sheffield, and McLaren Automotive.

    RELATED: Hill Street Hatch hospitality incubator crowned LEVELUP 2021 winner

    Congratulating PAC Group on its achievement, Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, said: “Northern Ireland has long been home to excellence in both advanced manufacturing and research & development.

    "As we emerge from the global pandemic, innovation will be vital to our economic recovery and it is businesses like PAC Group who are leading the charge and using innovation to drive growth in their businesses.”

    In 2019, PAC Group was awarded a contract by Spirit AeroSystems to design and manufacture a 20mx6m quartz infrared preformer for its new Aerospace Innovation Centre in Prestwick, Scotland, which is scheduled to open later this year.

    It is believed to be the largest preformer in the world, and represents a significant investment on behalf of Spirit to secure a step change in composite fabrication, automation, and assembly technologies of current and future aircraft.

    PAC Group previously designed and manufactured an 18mx4m vacuum preformer for Spirit’s Wing Manufacturing and Assembly facility in Belfast. The preformer is used by Spirit on its advanced composite wing programme, which received the 2019 MacRobert Award for UK engineering innovation.

    RELATED: Almost £21m to issue to over 850 NI manufacturers

    For more information on PAC Group's specialist division, visit PAC Composites, or contact their team today on 02893 364600 or email info@pacgroup.co.uk.

    Source: Press release

    About the author

    An article that is attributed to Sync NI Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story