16 May 2019
A leading-edge North Wales photonics company that developed a novel approach to remanufacturing and demand forecasting has won an award for innovation.
Denbighshire-based Qioptiq created a state-of-the-art business model to facilitate leaner supply chains and reduce costs through enhanced inventory management.
The St Asaph based company designs and manufactures photonic products and solutions for national and international defence and aerospace customers.
A history of innovation led the company to forge a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Cardiff University as it sought to increase its capability, growing its service support business by adopting activities traditionally carried out by the Ministry of Defence.
Cardiff Business School provided the knowhow to develop a ‘remanufacturing’ inventory forecasting toolkit, in support of servicing and upgrading surveillance and targeting equipment for the UK’s Armed Forces.
The collaboration – which formed part of Qioptiq’s winning bid for an £82m contract - has won the Innovation in Business accolade at this year’s Cardiff University Innovation and Impact Awards, now in their 21st year.
Peter White, Managing Director, Qioptiq, said: "We are delighted to win this award with Cardiff Business School. It reinforces our long-standing reputation as a pioneering company with a hands-on approach to innovation. The KTP led us to simplify our supply chain and utilise a new toolset to support our logistics supply operations, allowing us to effectively pinpoint demand, forecast returns and plan inventory orders.”
Led by Professors Aris Syntetos and Mohamed Naim from Cardiff Business School, the KTP employed an expert in ‘lean’ inventory forecasting, Thanos Goltsos, to work with Qioptiq to transfer academic expertise.
“We are proud and truly delighted to have won this award,” said Professor Syntetos. “It’s a tribute to everyone involved, from Thanos’s outstanding research as KTP Associate – bringing real benefits to one of Wales’s most innovative companies – to the dedicated supervision of Professor Naim. Innovate UK judged the KTP to be ‘outstanding’ – and we are thrilled that our research continues to win top awards whilst contributing to leaner, greener business around the world.”
Qioptiq brought in Cardiff’s expertise after prior work with Cardiff Business School through the Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE and ASTUTE2020) operations, part-funded by the Welsh European Funding Office.
Research on leaner inventories and environmental sustainability aligns closely with Cardiff Business School’s Public Value strategy, reflecting the increasing interest of UK and Welsh Governments in the circular economy, sustainability and remanufacturing.
The Awards, on 3 June, are organised by Cardiff University Innovation Network, which has promoted business-university interactions for more than 20 years.