Merseyside Innovation Awards shortlist unveiled

A trio of innovative small businesses have made the final shortlist for the 2012 Merseyside Innovation Awards.

The three companies will now go head-to-head to see which will be crowned the overall winner of the 2012 scheme.

The MIAs are open to individuals or businesses with fewer than 50 employees and the successful triumvirate is ChargePoint, Trak-Rap and Mole Group.

Speke-based ChargePoint manufactures devices which are used for protecting drugs and scientists from contamination during R&D processes in the bio-pharmaceutical industry.

It was recognised for its 'ChargePoint Bio Valve' which is specifically used to keep non-dangerous drugs and powders free from contamination because they are injected straight into the bloodstream during treatment.

Skelmersdale company Trak-Rap manufactures a food-wrapping machine and a thin wrap for typical supermarket pack sizes which uses 68 per cent less material and 98 per cent less energy than conventional shrink wrap.

Its 1.4-metre high machine is used for wrapping cakes, yoghurts and jellies but chief executive Martin Leeming told Insider the company was looking to expand into other areas.

Mole Group, headquartered in Upton on the Wirral, was a late entry to the awards scheme.

It is a £300,000 turnover company which has designed a 'CombiSave' device aimed at speeding up hot water delivery and reducing bills in domestic properties.

"The level of innovation demonstrated at these awards increases year on year," said Insider features editor Rupert Cornford.

"There is a real need to invest in and highlight the work of new products in the market place, and this process does just that."

The final of the MIAs takes place on 5 July at the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool.

The overall winner will receive £10,000 and £4,000 worth of consultancy services on legal, business, PR, accountancy or design matters as well as advisor support and publicity.

Insider is acting as a media partner with the BBC. Other sponsors of this year's awards are: C-Tech Innovation, Amatica, BBC Radio Merseyside, Brabners Chaffe Street, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, NatWest, Paver Smith, University of Liverpool, MC Vanguard, North West Fund and WP Thompson.