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Media tech companies win Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

disguise, Blackbird and Solid State Logic have all been recognised in this year's list of 232 winners

Three media technology companies have been included in the latest round of winners of the 2022 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise will be announced, celebrating the achievements of UK businesses.

disguise technologies has been recognised in the Innovation category for its rX product, which delivers live digital environments through computer generation and display using LED panels.The solution enabled a new form of immersive studio environment for Eurosport’s coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and adoption has since been accelerated by demand from artists, brands, and organisations to engage remote audiences following the halt in live events in spring 2020.

According to the company’s citation, the technology has driven strong company growth commercially and in employee numbers which grew from 36 to 91 over the past five years.

Speaking about the award, disguise CEO Fernando Kufer said: “From a small experiment less than five years ago to the most prestigious business award in the UK today…This is truly a dream come true!

“disguise xR is the result of industry-wide collaboration as our team worked closely with our user community over the years to build out the most advanced and integrated extended reality solution on the market. I am incredibly proud of our team, their passion and dedication to continue pushing the boundaries of what disguise can achieve.”

Blackbird was also named amongst the winners in the International Trade category. Enabling remote editing, Blackbird provides rapid access to video content for the  creation of clips, highlights and longer form content to multiple devices and platforms. It is a green technology that generates 91 per cent less carbon than other video editing platforms. 

Blackbird’s citation states that the company’s overseas sales have grown by 314 per cent over three years and now account for over 70 per cent of total sales. The company wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

“We are incredibly honoured to be the winner of a coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise,” said Blackbird CEO Ian McDonough. “The global technology industry is generally assumed to be the preserve of large US companies and so for a British challenger brand to break into the US media market, with customers such as the NHL, Cheddar News, Univision and the US State Department amongst others, is something we are very proud of at Blackbird.

“Our patented technology that dramatically improves speed, cost efficiency and user experience in the production process is proving a winning formula where there is pressure on these areas from all sides. The technology has also been proven to be compellingly sustainable when measured alongside our competitors’ carbon footprints.”

Solid State Logic was also recognised in the Innovation category for its work in designing and manufacturing high performance music and audio production tools since the early 1970s. The company won a Queen’s Award for Innovation for its System T broadcast audio production platform in 2020. It has now developed SSL Fusion, an analogue outboard processor which incorporates analogue processing circuits in a single device using low power electronic designs, which can be individually selected by the user. The product won the 2020 Technical Excellence in Creativity Award for Signal Processing Hardware, which acknowledges technically innovative products.

Nigel Beaumont, SSL’s managing director, said, “We are honoured to have received a Queen’s Award for Innovation — our second in two years. I would like to express my gratitude to our entire staff for driving a culture of innovation, and to our customers around the world who are both extremely loyal and demanding in their applications. finally, as part of the Audiotonix family of brands, we are grateful to be surrounded by an extremely capable management team with world class products and distribution channels.”

Winners’ awards are valid for five years and are permitted to fly The Queen’s Awards flag at their main office and use the emblem on their marketing materials. Winners are also given a Grant of Appointment (an official certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy.