Survitec Group's RFD Beaufort facility in Dunmurry, has been awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise, for its RFD MarinArk Marine Evacuation System (MES).
Entered in the Innovation category, and specifically for "Continuous Innovation and Development", the RFD MarinArk attracted the attention of the award panel not only for its innovative design, responsiveness to regulations and the need for improved passenger safety, but also for its global commercial success.
Moya Johnston, Managing Director of the Dunmurry facility where the product is designed and manufactured, commented: "This is a fantastic achievement and international recognition for our business in Northern Ireland. We have worked extremely hard during what is a challenging economic period, to continue to innovate, deliver excellent products and remain competitive for a demanding customer base. Simply knowing that our product improves passenger and crew safety on board ships and ultimately, is there to save lives, is an enormous source of pride for all of us here in Dunmurry."
Survitec's history in marine survival equipment dates to Reginald Foster Dagnall in 1920, with the design of simple but critical flotation bags and rings for the Royal Navy's Aircraft. Marine Evacuation Systems as we know them today, began production at the factory in 1979, and in line with changes in regulation and advances in vessel design and increasing passenger capacities, the company has continued to invest in the continuous development of the product. It has also worked closely with Invest Northern Ireland, securing research and development grants to help bring the product to market with great commercial success.
Announced every year on the Queen's Birthday, only a small number of the hundreds of thousands of businesses who enter the awards are selected to receive a Queen's Award for Enterprise. It is an enormous boost to the Survitec Group to receive this award for outstanding achievement, particular recognising the achievements of its flagship product, MarinArk, which is designed and manufactured in Dunmurry.
Dunmurry was also recently recognised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineering with the MX Award for Most Improved Business 2011. This reflected achievements made by the business as a result of its radical modernisation programme to improve its management processes and which saw export sales increase 35% with on-time delivery and employee engagement ratings soar.