UK papermaker James Cropper receives Innovation Excellence Award from Technology Strategy Board, for company's series of projects representing innovations in paper and technical fiber sectors, plans to accelerate advancements with new R&D division

KENDAL, England , July 4, 2014 (press release) – Presented by the historic and prestigious Stationers Company in the City of London, James Cropper is hailed as a leading industry innovator following a series of technological breakthroughs.

Ground-breaking processes including the recycling of carbon fibre and paper coffee cups have seen James Cropper claim an Innovation Excellence Award, supported by the Technology Strategy Board. The award was presented by the Stationers Company, the guardians of the British communications and content industries, including paper and printing sectors, to Chief Executive, Phil Wild at a gathering on Monday 30 June 2014.

Rising from a long-list of companies, James Cropper picked up the accolade for a series of projects which represent significant milestones in not only British, but the international paper and technical fibre trades.

The panel of judges, including Dr Gerry Flynn of the Technology Strategy Board, Master of the Stationers’ Company, Tom Hempenstall and BBC Global Business Correspondent, Peter Day declared the 170 year old British company the winner of the award for ‘Breakthrough technology that offers significant sustainable development prospects’.

The award ceremony was underpinned by speeches that recognised the seismic technological, economic and social changes challenging traditional industries, innovations like James Cropper’s landmark recycling process for many of the billions of paper coffee cups thrown away each year, were formally recognised by business peers. Sustainable product developments that see waste products limited or reused, including a chocolate wrapping paper that includes otherwise disposed of cocoa shells enhanced James Cropper’s claim to the accolade.

Phil Wild, CEO of James Cropper, said: “For six centuries The Stationers Company has set standards and protected the reputation of a range of industries including paper producers, the place from which James Cropper started. Therefore, it is an honour to be recognised by the judges in this way and to receive the award in the company of so many other business leaders. Sustainability makes good business sense, and is at the forefront of our business philosophy in the creation of some of the world’s most distinctive and technically advanced paper products. We feel this award recognises that commitment.”

In addition to James Cropper’s paper business incorporating an integrated converting facility, James Cropper plc also includes TFP (Technical Fibre Products), a specialist producer of wet-laid nonwoven fibres that support the aerospace and defence industries. In October last year it was announced that TFP, an internationally recognised leader in glass, carbon and polymer nonwovens, had developed the capability to process recycled carbon fibre into a reusable composite, ultimately providing a viable route for the reuse of a widely used fibre previously considered as waste.

2014 has seen James Cropper establish a new, dedicated Technology and Innovation Division to stimulate a step-change in the pace and deployment of new technologies appearing in the company’s expanding portfolio. Underpinned by the company’s ethos of investment in the environment, expertise and high standards of customer care, the division is working to build on a series of award winning projects with further developments.

Patrick Willink, Chief Technology Officer for James Cropper, said: “Vision has certainly been the key to James Cropper’s success, along with innovation and reinvention, from becoming one of the first paper mills in the world to make coloured paper, research into non-cellulose fibre which led to the formation of TFP, to developing unique technologies for generating new products from waste materials. With a long-term investment in science, technology and our people the company embraces today’s business challenges as an opportunity.”

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