Cornwall-based company Gripsure has been recognised for its innovative new products. The firm, which makes non-slip timber decking from its base in Bugle, has been named a finalist in the Innovation Award category of the Wood Protection Association (WPA) Awards.
Now in its seventh year, the WPA Awards showcase wood protection technology as a vital part of the timber industry. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 22 September in Coventry.
Sponsored by Impra, the Innovation Award recognises the creation of new ideas, new products and more effective ways of working. The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges made up of leading figures in the industry.
Gripsure was shortlisted for developing innovative production techniques to create two unique new products: Gripsure Graphics and DeckArt. Both are crafted from sustainable FSC and PEFC certified timber and feature the anti-slip features for which Gripsure decking is renowned.
However, for the first time, these new products offer customers decking boards incorporating a selection of attractive graphics and text.
Aimed at the commercial market, Gripsure Graphics has been used by Cambridge University, Bristol Zoo and Edinburgh Zoo. By allowing customers to create unique designs, it provides an innovative way to signpost visitors and communicate stories or information.
DeckArt is just one way in which Gripsure is responding to a significant increase in demand from homeowners. Designed for the residential market, DeckArt is manufactured using the same processes and equipment as Gripsure Graphics. It features a range of slogans, including ‘Life is better on the deck’ and ‘Home sweet home’, and decorative designs, such as paw prints and leaves.
To develop these new products, Gripsure secured funding from Acceleration Through Innovation 2 (ATI2), a project led by the University of Plymouth and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The ATI2 programme is designed to support business innovation across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and assists small to medium-sized enterprises that are seeking to commercialise new opportunities leading to increased growth, productivity and sustainable change. With ATI2’s support, Gripsure also received advice and guidance from manufacturing specialists at SWMAS.
Gripsure Managing Director Mike Nicholson said: “Although the Covid-19 pandemic has been a worrying and challenging time for us all, we have experienced a surge in demand from both homeowners and commercial customers.
“The pandemic has encouraged many people to focus more on their surroundings and to appreciate the many benefits of enjoying nature and the outdoors. Our non-slip decking is designed to help people create safe and beautiful spaces so they can spend more time outdoors, whatever the weather.
“Both DeckArt and Gripsure Graphics give people the opportunity to inject some individuality and personality into their projects, creating something truly unique.
“I’m delighted that the team’s creative thinking and hard work has been recognised by us being named a finalist in the WPA Awards. I am also very grateful to ATI and SWMAS for their support in creating these new products. We are shortlisted alongside some really impressive firms and look forward to celebrating everyone’s achievements.”