Kresse Wesling, MBE, the award-winning environmental entrepreneur to introduce North East Innovation Awards

The shortlist for the North East Innovation Awards has today been announced.

The North East Innovation Awards are delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with RTC North.


They celebrate stand-out examples of innovation in the region’s most important sectors – Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare and Digital. An Innovation Champion and the coveted title of Innovation of the Year will also be announced, with a live delegate vote deciding who will walk away with the Idea of the Year award, a new addition to the 2019 line-up. (See notes to editors for the full shortlist and award categories.)


The winners will be announced as part of VentureFest North East taking place at St.James’ Park on Thursday 28th November. The awards will be introduced by entrepreneur and co-founder of Elvis & Kresse, Kresse Wesling, MBE and hosted by Simon Green, CEO of Innovation Supernetwork.


Kresse Wesling, MBE said (see notes to editors for a full bio): “This will be my first time at VentureFest North East and I’m truly delighted to have been asked to present the North East Innovation Awards which form part of such a fantastic event. There are clearly some outstanding examples of good practice and innovation taking place in the region.


“I have no doubt that recognition like this will give a huge boost and encouragement to the winners to continue to develop innovative products and services. I’m looking forward to sharing my own experience of starting and growing a global brand and hearing more about the achievements of the businesses that have been shortlisted.” 


Simon Green, CEO of Innovation SuperNetwork commented: “Now in its second year, the North East Innovation Awards continue to gather momentum and build on the success of 2018 by bringing together over 800 delegates to celebrate the ground-breaking products and ideas that are coming out of the region. We really are brimming with innovative individuals, teams and businesses that are making an impact and deserve to be recognised.


“We are looking forward to working with our partners to showcase such a talented, diverse range of businesses that are truly a credit to the region.”


Paul Marriott, Programme Lead at RTC North added: “RTC North is proud to partner with the North East Innovation Awards and we have been overwhelmed by the number of entries that we received across all categories.  


“This year we have added an Idea of the Year category that will see three businesses pitching their proposal on stage to delegates who will then cast a live vote to decide the overall winner. The introduction of this award has been made possible due to our Pathways to Innovation programme which is designed to help small and medium sized businesses protect and commercialise new technologies, products, services, process and access new markets. We can’t wait to hear the pitches on the 28th.”


The shortlist for Innovation of the Year is made up of this year’s Innovation Showcase exhibitors at VentureFest North East. VentureFest North East 2019 is all about bringing together people from different business sectors to learn from each other and use innovation to improve their competitiveness and profitability.

The event takes place on Thursday 28th November 2019 at St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Registrations are now open at 

VentureFest North East and the North East Innovation Awards are part of the wider Innovation SuperNetwork programme, developed with around 60 partner organisations to support innovation in the North East. The SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Northumbrian Water Group, ENGIE, North East BIC and Innovate UK, with part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund. 


Media Contact
Jennie Whitell
Communications Manager

Notes to Editors

European Regional Development Fund

The Innovation SuperNetwork is the brand of a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund: Catalysing Innovation in North East Clusters, which is receiving up to £1.24m of ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit

Kresse Wesling, MBE

Kresse is a multi-award winning environmental entrepreneur and Young Global Leader with a background in venture capital and significant start-up experience.

After first meeting with the London Fire Brigade in 2005, Kresse launched Elvis & Kresse, which turns industrial waste into innovative lifestyle products and returns 50% of profits to charities related to the waste. Elvis & Kresse’s first line is made from decommissioned fire hose, 50% of the profits from this line are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.

The company now collects 12 different waste streams, has several charitable partnerships and is involved with collaborations across industries, from FTSE 100 companies to fashion houses, including a current, 5-year partnership with the Burberry Foundation.

The shortlisted individuals, teams and businesses in each category are:

Health & Life Science Innovation Award, in partnership with AHSN  


Magnitude Biosciences


Biosignatures Ltd.

Glenda Devlin Your Health & Care


Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Award, in partnership with Martel Instruments

Abfad Limited
Big Purple Productions
Hyperdrive Innovation
Synergy VR

Offshore & Energy Innovation Award, in partnership with ENGIE

Nixon Hire
New Safety Ltd
Hyperdrive Innovation
Connected Energy
Qinov8 UK Ltd

Creative and Digital Innovation Award, in partnership with Jumping Rivers

Nine Software
National Institute for Health Research - Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria
Taxigoat Ltd

Idea of the Year (pitching competition with live delegate vote) in partnership with RTC North

Barrier Ex

Innovation of the Year (linked to Innovation Showcase) in partnership with North East BIC

Mistura Informatics
Your Health and Care

Blue Tokay
The Algorithm People
Plastech Innovation
Green White Sice
Synergy VR
Gull Corporation


Innovation Champion, in partnership with CPI

Northern Accelerator team
Northstar Ventures team
Kate Baucherel
Sue Black
Nigel Watson










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