Fera Science Ltd., (Fera) is thrilled to announce its recent success at the 31st York Press Business Awards. The York-based science services business won with its inaugural entry in the ‘Business Innovation of the Year’ category and went on to win the top award of Press Business of the Year 2022.
Several members of Fera’s team and a number of guests joined the estimated 600 attendees at the glittering black-tie event for the York Press Business Awards, including Dr Larissa Collins, Dr Maureen Wakefield, Dr Glyn Jones, and Philippa Hobby, who received the award on behalf of Fera.
Speaking at the podium as a representative of the company, Dr Larissa Collins exclaimed,
“It’s an absolute honour to receive this award on behalf of my colleagues at Fera. This award really recognises that we really are a truly innovative business. We are constantly deploying our original thinking to tackle practical problems for our customers - to help society, food production, the environment and to ultimately keep our food system safe.”
Dr Collins, lead scientist on Fera’s Enigma Programme - a strategic R&D model established to support continued research, innovation, and knowledge transfer across the agri-food sector - went on to say,
“Anyone who strives for innovation knows that not everything works, but we’re good at persevering. It’s our staff’s expertise and passion for finding solutions for our customers that’s so important. And as we translate science into practical innovations, it’s important for us to listen to our customers so we know what they require so we can devise the most expedient and effective route to resolve their problems using the vast array of science disciplines that we have at Fera.”
Fera’s entry in ‘Business Innovation of the Year’ spotlights the internationally pioneering contribution it has made over the last decade to prove and develop the potential of insect bioconversion to upcycle organic waste from ‘environmental hazard’ to ‘valorised product’ under a near perfect circular economy and which has culminated in it investing £1m this year to build and commission its ‘first of its kind’, insect research laboratory at its base at the York Biotech Campus (YBC). (Read more here).
Fera also highlighted the long history of pioneering innovation it has seen in recent years, mostly notably through Enigma (considered one of the first research models of its kind in the agri-food sector) a model which relies upon industry collaboration to address exacting common challenges, as well as LAND360; a new service to measure, monitor and assess natural capital in response to Defra’s environmental land management schemes (ELMs), and the drive to manage land in a way that recognises ‘public money for public good’.
As the winning organisation in the Innovation category, Fera is proud of its Yorkshire base and its work with regional, national and global partners, continually investing and expanding its product and service offerings to not only respond to industry requirements but to also continue to support the local economy by creating high quality employment. Working with talent from within the region alongside a programme of regional community engagement and investment in our staff, apprentices and PhD students, Fera provides attractive career progression opportunities.
Success didn’t end there for Fera, as it went on to win the top trophy of overall Press Business of the Year 2022. After initially describing his shock upon receiving this prestigious award and thanking the York Press and all of those who had made the event such a success, Dr Andrew Swift (CEO), went on to deliver a passionate and thought-provoking speech on the importance of protecting the food system for the future generations,
“I am totally shocked, but I am so grateful to the sponsors and the organisers for us to have been considered for this award… Most people don’t realise how Fera’s work provides an invisible blanket for our national biosecurity, food safety and food security. We’ve heard some terrific awards tonight, celebrating business purpose, but what better purpose is there in the sense of business than protecting you what you eat and the world in which we live for those who follow us?”
Met with applause at the sentiment, Dr Swift went on to say,
“The kind of work that Fera does is not only for today’s economic success but is for your children and your children’s children. Fera is innovative and Fera is important because we’re trying to find ways every day of the week to feed the world more sustainably, more regeneratively and to drive down net zero carbon in the region as fast as we can including alongside our partners in BioYorkshire.”
With over 100 entries, the awards have long been a major fixture in the York business calendar, with this year as no exception. The 2022 Awards celebrate businesses across Yorkshire in 11 categories, who have thrived in their respective sectors despite current economic challenges - long-standing businesses and start-ups going from strength to strength - firms who have proved their calibre as responsible employers and those who put sustainability at the heart of their missions.