Four innovative North East firm have been honoured with Queen’s Awards, for their work  across the world in a huge range of sectors.

Osbit, the Northumberland-based offshore technology company, is to receive a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Osbit has been rewarded for Excellence in Innovation, a category which recognises outstanding achievement and commercial success as a result of innovation.  

The coveted prize has been given for the company’s development of offshore technology to deliver a step-change in offshore operations. Osbit’s Intervention Tension Frame systems were designed and built for industry-leading services company Helix Energy Solutions, facilitating safer and more efficient closure of expired oil wells.

Employing nearly 150 people, Osbit was set up in 2010 by three engineers to develop technology for safer and more efficient offshore operations, with particular focus on the growing offshore wind industry.  

Last year, Osbit was acquired by offshore wind services provider, Venterra Group.

Director Steve Binney, who leads Osbit’s technology and innovation, said “This win is fantastic recognition of what Osbit is capable of, in terms of developing large and complex systems, successfully delivering them, and making a real difference to our customers’ project outcomes.

"Innovation has always been at the heart of everything we do – we’re constantly trying to use our engineering skills to improve on what’s gone before, to do things better, more safely, more effectively."

The UK’s leading shower designer and manufacturer, Roman, based in Newton Aycliffe has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for International Trade.

The Awards track sustained excellence in export growth over a 3 year period. They also cover all areas of business performance and best practice – with a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Roman design and manufacture showering products for the bathroom at their headquarters in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, but the international market leader also has established subsidiaries in Ireland and Malaysia. Currently Roman has supplied products for projects in 72 markets worldwide from County Durham.

David Osborne, Chief Executive Officer of Roman, said: “We are all immensely proud of this huge honour – and to be awarded a second one makes it even more special. The Award is recognised all around the world and we know that this accolade will further strengthen the Roman brand nationally and internationally. I know all of our staff and their families will take great pride in such news.”

Beanies Flavour Coffee has been awarded a Queen’s Award for International Trade in recognition of its growth and commercial success.

The Northern Echo: Darlington MP Peter Gibson (left) celebrates the news of the Queen’s Award with John Evans of Beanies Flavour CoffeeDarlington MP Peter Gibson (left) celebrates the news of the Queen’s Award with John Evans of Beanies Flavour Coffee
The award comes just months after the Darlington-based company was listed among the North East’s Top 20 fastest growing firms.

It currently exports to more than 30 countries worldwide, including South Africa, India, Malaysia, and Japan. The trade makes up 15 per cent of turnover.

Beanies launched in 2013 and has since gained an international reputation for producing uniquely-flavoured instant coffees – from Sticky Toffee Pudding and Jam Doughnut through to Chocolate Orange and Maple Fudge.

John Evans, managing director of Beanies, said: “This Queen’s Award truly puts us on a firm footing for developing the next stage of our export potential.

“These are exciting times for us and is an example of what can be achieved even for the most modest of companies. Personally, I am very proud of achieving this very prestigious award and for the effort that has gone into it from the whole team here at Beanies. The award means that we can really fly the flag for Britain - and Darlington - around the world to showcase our amazing range of coffee.”

He also praised the support received from Darlington MP Peter Gibson, adding: “Peter has engaged with us extensively, bringing the Secretary of State for International Trade to visit us and encouraging us to explore the Queens Awards – and I’m delighted he did!”

The MP replied: “To see Beanies Flavour Coffee, a local firm being recognised at such a national level really underpins the passion, determination, and skills of our town’s workforce. I know first-hand the incredible journey the team at Beanies have been on, and this award is the perfect way to recognise their contribution to enterprise.”

Shildon-based QINOV8 has been honoured for Enterprise in Innovation, for its game-changing water leakage reduction product the Aquapea.

The Northern Echo: Brothers Mark and Michael Quinn, from Coundon formed QINOV8Brothers Mark and Michael Quinn, from Coundon formed QINOV8

This is a pea-sized product capable of repairing leaks on underground pipes with no excavations, now being used across the UK and many parts of the world.

Employing only four people, QINOV8 was set up at the end of 2016 to help bring much needed innovations to save precious water and reduce carbon usage caused by leaking water pipes.

Co-Founder Michael Quinn said “It’s such an honour for myself, my brother Mark and business partner Paul to win the Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation. As a company we’re so young but have achieved so much and we want to continue helping the world prevent unnecessary water loss and reduce the carbon footprint associated with leakage. This is a vital piece of the jigsaw if we’re to win the battle against water scarcity and climate change.”

Applications for Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023 open on the 1st May 2022. For more information, visit


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