Bluetooth chip designer CSR scoops top prize at iDEA 2006

Written by: Lou Reade | Published:

Bluetooth chip designer CSR has scooped three awards in the Innovation & Design Excellence Awards 2006.

The company, based in Cambridge, walked away with the Scientific Generics Innovation & Design Excellence of the Year award. It also won the product innovation award, which recognises an innovative product – and the processes in place to develop it.

Its chips have been used in more than 150 end products, helping it to dominate the Bluetooth market. One of its recent successes was a dongle that helped Skype users route internet phone calls to their Bluetooth headsets. Chips for the device were developed with a lead partner, then sold to the rest of the market.

The awards, organised by Cranfield School of Management, Eureka and New Electronics, were made on Friday 29 September at the Hilton Hotel in London.

Bath-based Rotork shared the business-to-business product innovation category with CSR. Rotork took proven design ideas from a successful sister product to modernise its AQ range of quarter-turn valve actuators. The resulting product, called IQT, now outsells the defunct AQ by a factor of three.

The ‘green’ award went to Wolverhampton-based Fortress Interlocks, for its eGard product. As well as using a single grade of plastic material in its construction, the combined control and safety product has a low part count and is easy to disassemble. Ultrasonic welding is used in its construction, in place of fixings or glue.

In the consumer product category, Hertfordshire engineering consultancy TTP walked away with its second award in two years. (Last year, it won the Design Collaboration Award.) It has helped a number of companies bring products to the mass market. Its expertise in DAB protocols meant that it played a key role in developing the handset for the new Virgin mobile TV service.

The small business category was dominated by electronics companies, and won by design house Triteq – which also scooped the Design Collaboration Award. Two other electronics companies were highly commended in the small business category: MLE, based in Salisbury, has set itself an aggressive target to grow sales fivefold in the next three years; and GSPK Design, based in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, impressed the judges with its device that accurately mixes diesel and LPG in trucks. This can save up to 15% in fuel costs.

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