Today (Thursday June 9) the company that employs just three people will receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its outstanding achievements.
Based on Conwy’s Riverside Business Park, Conwy Valley Systems is the only company from Wales this year to win an Award in the Innovation category.
Business Minister Edwina Hart has sent a message of congratulations to the company describing the award as a well deserved and most welcome achievement.
“It is exciting to think that Conwy Valley Systems Ltd, one of the smallest businesses to receive this prestigious award, are now world leaders in a highly specialised niche market; and that their systems are used in 42 countries around the world,” she said.
”As the world emerges from recession, Wales needs people with the vision and commitment to transform innovation into world beating products – and Conwy Valley Systems have shown the way.”
The Award is for the on-going development of PETROG, an integrated software package for specialist petrographic microscope and camera systems that are used to provide detailed analysis of the structure of rocks.
PETROG enables a computer to rotate the thin slivers of rock being inspected under the microscope and to control the camera to ensure all angles are captured and the images are then displayed on the screen.
The system is now widely used by the mining and oil exploration industries worldwide and more recently used to determine the stability of concrete in major structures like dams.
Dr Barrie Wells and Mark Gorst, who initially established Conwy Valley Systems as a consultancy when they were made redundant, spent five years developing the system in their spare time.
They had support from the Welsh Government EU funded Business Innovation programme at a critical stage of development which enabled them to get the technology independently validated.
The Welsh Government’s Advanced Materials & Manufacturing sector team is currently supporting the company to develop the next generation of products.
The company works closely with Bangor University and has a strong local supply chain with their systems manufactured by Flintshire Precision Engineering on Deeside.