Devon

Vi-Spring and Simpleware win Queen's Award for Enterprise

Computer model: Simpleware
Image caption Simpleware's software has a range of applications, including medical and dental

Two Devon firms have received the Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Plymouth luxury bed maker Vi-Spring was recognised for its growth in international trade after opening markets in 14 new countries.

Simpleware from Exeter was given an innovation award for software which converts 3D images into computer models for engineering design and simulation.

Winners of the Queen's Award for Enterprise are announced on the Queen's birthday every year.

They are the UK's highest accolade for business success.

Space customer

Vi-Spring, which was established in 1901, employs about 150 staff in Ernesettle, Plymouth.

Managing Director Mike Meehan said the award was recognition for the employees.

"It's been a lot of hard work, but we're thrilled and delighted," he told BBC News.

Mr Meehan said the company's key to success was its commitment to using expert craftsmanship, with every bed hand-made in Plymouth using traditional methods.

"We are very proud of our product and truly delighted to be recognised," he added.

Simpleware was set up by Professor Philippe Young from the University of Exeter. It began trading in 2007 and now employs about 20 staff.

Prof Young said 90% of the business was exported and the company's clients included the petrochemical industry, the US Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA.

"Getting the award is very pleasing because its a reward for lots of people working very hard and I'm very proud," he said.

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