We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise within the Innovation category. This truly is one of Britain’s most prestigious accolades and recognises and celebrates business success across the UK.
This is the second Queen’s Award that we have been given; the first was in 2009 when we won the Award in the International Trade category (for year-on-year significant growth). This incredible achievement certainly provides cause for celebration, particularly at a time such as this when celebrating feels like a far-off memory.
Her Majesty the Queen personally approves all the winners of this award. In normal times we would be receiving a visit from Her Majesty’s local representative, The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey. Furthermore, this would then be followed with a celebration at Buckingham Palace later in the year. Naturally, some of these plans are on hold, but they look forward to marking the occasion formally at a later date.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation
A little background information on the award itself: Quite simply a Queen’s Award recognises success.
A Queen’s Award recognises the outstanding performance of British companies. Over the years this has evolved to cover fields of innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity. SLE joins over 7,000 UK enterprises to receive this Royal recognition. This year, some 200 businesses across the UK will receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, 90% of which are small businesses. Winners of the award are given the honour of displaying the Queen’s Award emblem for the next 5 years. This mark is an international endorsement from Her Majesty the Queen.
Neil Campbell said, “This is fantastic recognition of how a UK company can work with the best research groups around the world to bring an innovative idea like Auto-O2 to become a commercially successful product”.
What was the Award for?
SLE’s latest ventilator, the SLE6000, is an infant ventilator with a ‘closed-loop’ Auto-O2 software system (called ‘OxyGenie’ by SLE) for controlling the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood within a narrowly prescribed range.
The main benefit to our customers is that when using the ventilator, it enables the oxygen concentration in the baby’s blood (SpO2) to be maintained for longer periods in a particular target range, whilst lowering the amount of time needed by the caregivers to repeatedly monitor and adjust the oxygen the baby receives.
Longer periods in the target range means the baby spends less time outside the target range i.e., less time that the patient is in a state of either hypoxia (too little oxygen) or hyperoxia (too much oxygen). One report has shown that typically there is a 25% increase in time within the target range and a reduced incidence of hypoxaemia and hyperoxaemia, both of which can be deleterious for the baby [Plottier et al, 2016].
OxyGenie uses a new PID (proportional, integral and derivative) algorithm that has been shown to be much more responsive and accurate in being able to maintain stable blood-level oxygen than previous systems [Dargeville et al, 2016]. The system was originally developed by the University of Tasmania in conjunction with the Royal Hobart Hospital and the developers were looking for a way to introduce the system to a larger audience.
Our fantastic R&D department (well done everybody!) took the algorithm and safely incorporated it into the SLE6000 using a simple interface which makes it easier for medical staff to manage. This has given us a unique selling feature (compared with other neonatal ventilators) and has given us an extra advantage during the last couple of years, resulting in significant extra sales in the UK and internationally.
As Neil Campbell puts it “SLE has demonstrated that it truly has a combination of world-wide reach and an eye for innovation in bringing the OxyGenie algorithm to becoming a globally recognised success”
This Queen’s Award recognises SLE’s success and gives us additional confidence to compete in the specialised neonatal market.
Clinical evaluation of a novel adaptive algorithm for automated control of oxygen therapy in preterm infants on non-invasive respiratory support.
Plottier GK, et al. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2016;0:F1–F7. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2016-310647
Development and preclinical testing of an adaptive algorithm for automated control of inspired oxygen in the preterm infant
Dargaville PA, et al. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2016;0:F1–F6. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2016-310650