Welsh business wins Queen's Award

Posted by Jon Garside on 23/07/2009
Derek Ryden receives the Queen's Award

Blizzard Survival has been presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2009, for its range of ultra lightweight thermal products, made from the company’s groundbreaking Reflexcell™ material.

Britain’s top industrial honour was  presented to Blizzard Survival inventor and managing director Derek Ryden by the Queen’s representative, His Honour Judge Gruffydd Huw Morgan Daniel, Lord Lieutenant of Gwynedd, on Tuesday, July 21, at the company’s factory in Bethesda, North Wales.

Blizzard Survival products have proved a global success, with users including the US, Australian, Finnish, German and Dutch armies, RAF Mountain Rescue, Swiss Air Ambulance and outdoor sports people all over the world.
 
More than 90% of products are exported and the company has doubled its staff and production facilities in Snowdonia every six months for the last two years. The company now employs 60 people and is planning to open a new factory in Llanberis, North Wales.
 
Derek Ryden said: “It looks like the two biggest success stories in Wales at the moment are Torchwood and Blizzard Survival. We are tremendously proud to have created a world-beating set of products, which we developed in Snowdonia and continue to manufacture here.
 
“Our success in military markets is a fantastic endorsement of our products, because they are some of the world’s most demanding users. But we are making rapid progress in many other areas where lightweight thermal performance is essential, including outdoor survival, emergency preparedness, disaster relief and civilian medical hypothermia prevention and treatment."
 
Blizzard Survival’s Reflexcellmaterial is so revolutionary that it is on display as a design classic in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. Tests by the Royal Marines in Arctic Norway have shown that in sleeping bag form, it keeps users warm up to four times longer than conventional single skin bivvy bags.

The Blizzard Survival Jacket can be seen in action in the Hill Walking Essentials DVD!



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