Queen's Award for Tees firms; TEES pride.
TWO of Tees Valley's finest have scooped the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise.
Wilton-based DuPont Teijin Films won an innovation award for its range of Melinex light-blocking polyester films, while Cummins' Darlington Engine Plant (DEP) has been recognised for outstanding export sales in 2007.
The Melinex products are designed to improve the quality of images on products such as pop-up banners and food packaging and can be used in high-quality electronic display units and flexible packaging to keep food fresh.
Dr Alan Cook, European market manager for DuPont Teijin Films, was thrilled with the award. He believed the products made a positive contribution to waste reduction.
He said: "Polyester-based packaging has an important role to play in extending the shelf-life of many fresh products. Not only can food waste be prevented, but extending the shelf life by two or three days has a big impact on reducing the need for more lorries to re-stock supermarkets, food stores and restaurants."
The research and development of PET and PEN - a high-grade polyester film under trademarks including Melinex and Mylar - is carried out on Teesside. The products are manufactured in Dumfries and sold to converters and printers throughout Europe and the US.
The company was formed in 2000 following a 50/50 joint venture between DuPont and Japanese manufacturing firm Teijin.
Cummins Darlington Engine Plant (DEP) - which won a Queen's Award three times in the 1970s - was rewarded in 2008 for its "emissions-leading" technology, which resulted in 17,000 engines being exported to China in 2007 alone.
During the past three years, exports have increased by 81% to pounds 570m, supplying more than 40 countries.
Tim Millwood, plant manager at Cummins Darlington plant, said: "This is great news for the Cummins Darlington Engine Plant and our employees. Europe, the Middle East and Africa are markets which could provide further opportunities for us."
The plant ramped up production from 250 to more than 360 engines per day in 2007, boosting staff numbers by 39% to 900.
SUCCESS: Dr Alan Cook, European market manager for DuPont Teijin Films, shows the Melinex light-blocking polyester film which won the Wilton-based firm an innovation award at the Queen's Award for Enterprise Picture by IAN McINTYRE