Innovate UK award
FET, a small specialist company based in Leeds has been shortlisted in the inaugural Innovate UK Small Business Innovation Awards for its Suture Plus project. The awards, run by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, recognise Britain’s most exciting cutting-edge growing companies.
FET was established in 1998, designing and manufacturing bespoke extrusion equipment for high performance textile materials.
Managing Director Richard Slack comments, “FET now sells to more than 30 countries worldwide and is at the cutting edge of extrusion technology with typical order values ranging from £200,000 to £2 million. The financial grant from Innovate UK has enabled us to fund a significant research & development project for advanced medical suture applications.”
This R&D funding has enabled FET to develop prototype equipment which can produce very high strength absorbable yarns for use in advanced medical sutures or stitches. This process has been fast-tracked as a result of the funding, enabling a return of 400% on the grant from multiple sales to customers across three continents, with significant benefit to the UK export drive.
Dr Ruth McKernan, chief executive of Innovate UK said: “British companies, such as FET, are preparing for the future with their ground breaking innovations. They are building new industries, creating new jobs, and driving productivity. These awards celebrate the best of British innovation and I congratulate all the fantastic nominees.”
FET’s particular award category is “Innovation leading to business transformation.” The suture project is likely to lead to further technical development and sales to the global market in the future, along with the potential for ‘spin-off’ benefits in other markets and industries.