A TRAIL-blazing technology firm based in a North Yorkshire village was presented with a hugely prestigious award on Friday.

Peratech, based at Brompton-on-Swale near Richmond , was yesterday presented with the Queen’s Award for Innovation 2012.

It was given the award for developing a material with remarkable properties that has huge implications for the robotics, defence and telecommunications industries. 

On Friday Lord Crathorne, the Lord Lieutenant for Yorkshire, visited the technology firm to present it with the award on behalf of the Queen.

He also opened new laboratories on the site in dramatic fashion by cutting a ribbon with his ceremonial sword.

Lord Crathorne said: “They have created something entirely remarkable that one day will be used in enormous numbers of applications which they already have patents for.

“It’s a brilliant little company doing wonderful work with great potential. It’s one to watch in the future.”

The firm invented a material called quantum tunnelling composite (QTC) after an experiment to find a conductive adhesive went wrong.

The material was invented by Peratech’s chief technical officer and founder David Lussey and has unique properties, including turning from being an electrical insulator to a conductor when pressure is applied.

It is also hyper-sensitive to pressure and is able to detect chemical smells in the air as quickly as the human nose.

It helps develop switching and sensing systems and is already widely used in an array of products.

The firm hopes to become a £100m company within five years after securing a £1.2m investment in its North Yorkshire headquarters.