27 July 2023 | Innovation | Our Work

Innovation Festival 2023: Qualifying Innovator winners revealed

The Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) is delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Qualifying Innovator awards.

The LCRIG Innovation Festival, which took place at Newark Showground earlier this month, is an event where products, solutions, new innovations and techniques are displayed and demonstrated over a range of live demonstration sessions.

The festival provides local authorities with a chance to find out about new innovations from the supply chain that will help to meet their current and future challenges and features a conference programme, indoor and outdoor exhibition as well as live demonstrations.

Sponsors and exhibitors have the opportunity to enter the Qualifying Innovator awards to be in with a chance of receiving funding or securing a trial with a local authority.

And the winners are…



Award Category


The Tree Management Research Group (TMRG)


iTip Handles

Safety Handles

Fleet and Equipment



Street Lighting

Highware Care Ltd

The Janus Crash Cushion

Bridges & other Structures

Solar Gates UK


Traffic Signs & Lines

Kiely Bros Ltd

Kiely GlassMark


Connor Specialist Paving Ltd


Transport Technology

The successful innovators, who are detailed above, must now put together a proposal for a trial or details of how funding will be used. These proposals will be considered by LCRIG’s Infrastructure Innovation Board.

Delegates were asked to judge entries from Qualifying Innovators over the two days of the event. All scores were then collated at the end of the festival and the LCRIG Infrastructure Innovation Board reviewed the results, before making a final decision on the winning innovations.

Kerry Winstanley, Operations and Finance Director at LCRIG said: “The Qualifying Innovator awards are linked with the LCRIG Innovation Fund, which was established with the aim of encouraging innovation and to support innovators with finding a route to market.  As as CIC, it is important for us to give back and this underpins everything we do. A proportion of all sponsorship and exhibitor sales goes to the LCRIG Innovation Fund. We are very proud to be able to support the highways sector by providing funding for innovation development and facilitating trials with local authorities looking to trial new products on their networks.

“The standard of entries received was high and we would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners – we are excited to see how the innovations progress. We would also like to thank everyone that took the time to submit entries and those that scored our Qualifying Innovators at the Innovation Festival.”


Read our winner’s reactions below:



“We are delighted to accept the Biodiversity Award. Thanks to all the attendees we spoke to at the LCRIG Innovation Festival for voting to help drive sustainability and innovation. Using innovation in clever ways can make a real difference to our biodiversity!”  Mark Entwistle, Managing Director, KaarbonTech


             iTip Handles

“On behalf of Safety Handles, we are absolutely thrilled and honoured to accept the prestigious LCRIG Fleet and Equipment award following the LCRIG Festival 2023 as part of the ‘Steve Berry – Think Exceptional’ Innovation Fund. The award funding will be a game-changer for our start-up business, allowing us to secure a trial with a local authority to showcase Safety Handles. This opportunity is invaluable to us and will enable us to demonstrate the impact and effectiveness of our invention.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the delegates and industry specialists who took the time to experience our technology first-hand. We also want to express our immense appreciation to the incredibly supportive LCRIG organisation for providing a platform that celebrates and encourages innovation and collective thinking in the local council highways and byways industry. This award also shows that relevant ground-breaking innovations do not need an expensive price tag.

“A special thanks goes to North Yorkshire Highways for introducing us to LCRIG last year and to Reading Borough Council for their collaboration and invaluable insights into the safety issues our technology can address. Their support and partnership have been instrumental in our journey.

“As our story unfolds, we eagerly anticipate reporting back on the progress of our trial and the positive impact of Safety Handles. We are filled with gratitude and excitement as we look forward to the future. Thank you once again from Simon, Martin, Andy, and the team at Safety Handles.” Andy Hill, Marketing, iTip Handles



“ATM-AMAC are delighted to have been awarded such a fantastic award, thanks to the support of many of the LCRIG members and Innovation Festival delegates. We’re looking forward to the collaboration opportunities this award will provide and to put it to good use in further innovating the local authority and street lighting measurement outputs via our Illumetric energy efficiency survey.

“Many thanks to everyone who voted and to LCRIG themselves for hosting such an amazing event in Newark, we can’t wait to show the positive benefits of the award and resultant collaborations.” – David Villars, Business Development Manager, ATM


   Highway Care

“We are absolutely delighted that Janus Crash Cushion from our innovative SMA range has been recognised by the awards, and that this will lead to a funded installation in a location where the Janus can make a valuable difference to road safety. The Janus is ideal for adding protection to road user from roadside hazards in the event of a collision by providing a versatile, cost-effective barrier to absorb impact forces in locations where lengths of guardrail would be impractical. It’s fantastic to see the safety benefits of the Janus acknowledged in this way, bringing the system to the attention of specifiers across the UK.” – Kevin Davies, General Manager, Highway Care.


     Solar Gates 

“I am absolutely over the moon that INSTABOOM Go has been recognised by LCRIG and won the Traffic Signs & Lines category in the innovation Awards. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole Solar Gates team who have worked tirelessly to bring this innovative product from the concept board to the functional prototype stage.

“Our aim was to bring a 100% solar powered alternative to market and reduce risks to the traffic management community. This award is a solid acknowledgement that our efforts have been noticed.

“What is so amazing about the LCRIG innovation awards is that they are more than a pretty logo to put on the website. We are now able to take our concept and work with the LCRIG team and a Local Council to get real input from real users. This will ensure that the productions models from October this year are exactly right for the everyday user and based on user feedback.

“Thank you so much to everyone involved in the event and the LCGIG Innovation awards. You are making a difference.” Neil Sampson, Managing Director, Solar Gates UK


      Kiely Bros Ltd 

“We are absolutely delighted to hear that our Kiely GlassMark has won the Surfacing category following it’s launch at the Innovation Festival. We would like to thank all the local authority members who voted for our product. Winning this award is a great acknowledgment of our commitment to bringing innovative and sustainable solutions to the Highways sector and we are excited to start introducing it to several local authorities across the UK” – Mike Kiely, Managing Director, Kiely Bros Ltd


    Connor Specialist Paving

“Andrew, and the team at Connor Specialist Paving Ltd are absolutely delighted to have been chosen to receive the Transport Technology Innovator Award. We believe there were some very strong candidates with excellent innovations within this category, and we are extremely humble and proud to have been awarded this by the LCRIG community. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for us and for having the confidence in our innovative products Tac-Grid Tactile System and the Highways Dashboard Beacon Management System.

“This award will help us to develop the dashboard further, adding an enhancement that will aid the Local Authorities and Transport Authorities in the promotion of active travel. LCRIG Innovation Festival gives Companies the most fabulous and unique opportunity to showcase innovations. Thank you LCRIG.” – Sandra Smith, Office Manager and Company Secretary, Connor Specialist Paving.


Thank you to our Award Sponsors:


If you would like to find out more about the Innovation Festival or register your interest for 2024, please visit the Innovation Festival website here.

You can also watch some of the highlights from this year’s event here.