Tim Brooksbank is both humbled and beaming with pride.

The chairman of Calibre UK is proud that his company’s image processing products has won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, a prestigious recognition by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Enterprise Directorate.

Brooksbank is also proud of what the achievement says about the individuals in his Bradford, U.K.-based company. “It shows that there are companies and people in Britain who are still prepared to work hard and to earn for themselves and the economy as a whole,” he says.

“Much of society has a distorted sense of entitlement nowadays, as a company we show collectively that we are not like that. I’m very proud of what we have all achieved together.”

As an Englishman, Brooksbank is humbled to have the honor of meeting with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II later this year when she holds a reception for Queen’s Awards Winners. The date for the event hasn’t been announced at post time, but it’s expected to take place in autumn.

“I’ve never been there before even as a tourist,” he says. “As a committed and proud British person and also an active Freemason who shows respect for The Queen and sees the value of our monarchy, to get to meet Her Majesty is daunting but also very humbling and a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The actual presentation of the award—a glass bowl and a scroll—will take place when the Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire visits the offices of Calibre in Bradford on a date yet to be determined.

Honor Reflects Global Video Usage Trends

The Queen’s recognition is for Calibre UK’s achievement in international trade, an aggressive focus of the company over the past three years. It says it has established strong distribution partnerships with companies in the U.S., Australia, India, China, the Middle East and throughout Europe. In doing so, Calibre UK says it has focused on educating other markets about the selected warp and blend technology in its imaging processing product lines.

The way the world uses video is changing and Calibre UK’s solutions are poised to help global companies adapt, according to Brooksbank.

There is a trend, he says, toward use of projection on large, non-conventional and non-flat surfaces. “Our warp and blend products provide unique and effective solutions.”

Another trend involves businesses’ pervasive use of archived video from the Internet and smartphones. “This is challenging for large screen display work, so powerful and competent image processing and scaling is important,” Brooksbank says. “Globally, we’re all becoming camera operators on the fly which is making a big difference to content; also, the advent of low-cost editing further enables this.”

Then there’s the widespread adoption of large LED video walls. “This is further driving our business as LED wall video scaling had been one of our long established specialties.”

The publicity surrounding The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade may help raise the global profile of Calibre, which does 90 percent of its volume as non-Calibre-branded OEM.

The trick, Brooksbank acknowledges, is in capitalizing on the momentum generated by the recognition. “We’re working hard to recruit distribution and dealers worldwide and are growing our strategic industry partnerships continually.  We are also increasing our trade show presence and marketing and advertising spend.  We purchased a new office in Oxford last year specifically to provide sales and support services to pro A/V and broadcast customers and are actively increasing staffing there,” he says.

“We also invest heavily in R&D.  We are designing now what we’ll bring to market in 2014 and this is typical of our development cycle. Calibre reinvests 20 to 25 percent of annual revenue into R&D. That kind of development investment is very rare in the U.K., although it is common in countries which have very strong design and manufacturing commitment such as Germany.  We follow that model which enables us to lead rather than play catch-up.”

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