Companies, trade associations, charities, individuals, and public bodies are invited to share examples of innovation in a variety of categories including paper and media, printing supplies, packaging, and services.
At the 2017 awards presentation in June, post-press kit manufacturer Muller Martini took the first Novel Manufacturing award for its InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer, which features three individual cutting stations and can process up to 2,000bph. Innovator of the Year went to the Publishers Licensing Society, which has automated the permission process for authors and publishers to re-use extracts from published content.
“For printers, this is a great way of profiling their products and services to a wide audience of interested parties,” said awards chair Jonathan Drori. “It is also good for the country and our economy as the showcasing of innovation can only breed further innovation.
“I get a kick out of reading the applications and thinking, ‘I would never in a million years have thought of that.’ A great application explains the product or service in the same way you might explain it to your family over dinner.
“We have plenty of specialists who will understand technical terms, but people need to be able to talk about their ideas in a straightforward way so they have impact.”
Drori, a former producer for the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme, said he “still gets the same thrill from reading about new innovations today”.
He clarified that the categories would not be set in stone until all the entries had been received and a clearer scope of the field had been taken.
“We may only get a couple of weaker entries for a certain category and have to drop it, but another category may be so populous and strong that we find a way to split it into two prizes,” he said.
Launched in 2014, the awards are free to enter for all. There were 32 entries for the 2017 awards, down from 49 in 2016 – though this was attributed by former chair Tony Mash to 2017 not being a Drupa year.
Entries for the 2018 awards must be submitted by 6pm on 6 April 2018. Entry forms can be downloaded at https://stationers.org/iea and completed forms should be sent via email to email@example.com.