De La Rue's innovation is rewarded with a Queen's Award

Basingstoke Gazette: The Duke of Kent receives a gift from De La Rue chief executive Tim Cobbold, watched by Captain Christopher Fagan and the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan The Duke of Kent receives a gift from De La Rue chief executive Tim Cobbold, watched by Captain Christopher Fagan and the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan

A COMPANY that is a trusted partner of Governments and central banks around the world has received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the 12th time that banknote printer De La Rue has received such an honour.

Presenting the award on behalf of his cousin, The Queen, was The Duke of Kent who, accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire Dame Mary Fagan, also officially opened De La Rue’s Overton state-of-the-art Technology Centre.

De La Rue, headquartered in Viables, Basingstoke, which this year celebrates its 200th anniversary, won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation, for its Optiks anti-counterfeit technology for banknotes.

During his visit, The Duke met members of the De La Rue physical science team, who at the Technology Centre use cutting-edge technology and equipment to develop innovative features for use across the company’s security products and services.

De La Rue chairman Philip Rogerson said: “It’s a great honour for our company and it’s particularly pleasing to have been granted this award during the year in which we celebrate our 200th anniversary.

“This latest award truly belongs to the whole banknote community within the company.

“The story started in 1998 with the research and development team who took a fresh approach to a long-standing problem of how to create a see-through window with banknote paper.”

He said the revolutionary paper-making process required extensive trials and process development.

“We had to be sure that it would work with the subsequent printing processes and in the high-speed banknote sorting equipment used by our customers,” said Mr Rogerson, who described Optiks as a highly secure and attractive and revolutionary product.

He added: “It was launched at the 2004 Currency Conference in Rome, where it was an immediate sensation.

“The first order for the Kazakhstan 10,000 tenge note was won in 2006 and subsequently the technology has been adopted in a total of 11 countries, including this year in the Solomon Islands with the $50 banknote and the new 10,000 krónur in Iceland.”

A proud Mr Rogerson told the audience: “De La Rue has been innovating throughout its 200-year history. This innovation is core to our success and an integral part of this company.”

Speaking about the new Technology Centre, Mr Rogerson said: “This represents a firm expression of our continuing commitment to innovation and our determination to continue providing the most secure and best performing banknotes for our customers around the world.”

After officially opening the Technology Centre, The Duke said: “I am extremely impressed by this new centre. I have also looked at the paper-making processes and I must say it is extremely impressive to see.

“So I am delighted to open this Technology Centre and at the same time congratulate you on winning your Queen’s Award.”

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