Two Gwent-based companies have triumphed at this year’s Welsh Business Awards 2014, run by the South Wales Chamber of Commerce in association with the University of South Wales.

Newport-based SPTS Technologies, which manufactures semi-conductor wafer processing equipment to produce a range of electrical components, was the only company to scoop two category awards on the night, winning the Environmental Impact Award, sponsored by RWE Innogy and Skills and People Development Award, sponsored by Cambrian Training.

The company, which employs up to 500 people at The Coldra, has developed its own dedicated environmental team focusing on maximising energy efficiency at the manufacturing facility in Newport.

Since 2010, the firm has reduced its waste going into landfill by 34 per cent and its annual gas usage by 67 per cent, resulting in it receiving the Environmental Impact Award. It was also awarded the Skills and People Development Award for its staff development and engagement policy, including team building sessions and training programmes.

Innovation Makers, an Ebbw Vale company which has developed an ultra-lightweight, highly-portable and compact stroller for travelling families, was awarded the Business Start-Up Award, sponsored by RBS.

Following considerable market research, marketing and pitching, founders, Markus and Samantha Warwick secured more than £150,000 of funding through The ‘OmniO Rider’ will be launched in Autumn 2015, with plans to employ up to five office staff by the end of the year.

Destanie Clarke, marketing director at SPTS Technologies, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won two awards at this year’s Welsh Business Awards for people development and environmental impact.

“Business growth in the ever-evolving semi-conductor industry relies heavily on innovation, and so we are committed to investing in the ongoing learning and development of our workforce. Our dedicated employees are instrumental in the company’s success, and so it is vital that we reward staff and support them with additional training to ensure they develop to be the best they can be.

“Likewise, we have worked hard to improve our environmental credentials as an organisation, recognising that the consequences of climate change are far-reaching and that we have a responsibility to function as sustainably as possible.

“These are two areas we have invested heavily in over the last few years so it is great to receive these awards in recognition of our hard work.”

Innovation Makers founder Samantha Warwick said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have all our efforts over the last couple of years recognised by winning this Award.

“We have already mapped out a range of follow-on products and accessories relating to ‘OmniO Rider’. Our vision is to grow a sustainable and ethical business bringing innovative products to market with a family and travel focus.

“Our objective is to have our products and brand internationally recognised within three to five years to support further business growth and create more employment opportunities within Wales.”

Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “All of the winners, including Innovation Makers and SPTS Technologies, have demonstrated sustained progress during 2014 in what has remained a challenging trading period for the businesses community at large. The standard of entries was among the best we have seen since the Awards were first launched.

“Businesses named as finalists, as well as the winners, should be very proud of their achievements and they have all shown that it is still possible to achieve excellence despite the challenges of recent years. Their example should help to further strengthen returning confidence in the marketplace in Wales."

Now in their 13th year, the awards reflect the efforts of businesses and individuals throughout the whole of 2014.

All winners will now be encouraged to submit entries to the British Chamber of Commerce Awards in spring this year. Welsh businesses have traditionally performed well against UK-wide competition and a number have successfully secured a share of the prize money which has been as much as £50,000. In 2012, research by Paul Jones from the University of South Wales showed that having the Chamber brand alongside a business creates additional opportunities for that business.