Five progressive Newport businesses and individuals “at the forefront of innovation” have been shortlisted for the inaugural Wales STEM Awards.

The Intellectual Property Office, the Office for National Statistics, and the University of South Wales are among 42 innovative companies to be named finalists in this year’s highly anticipated awards.

The awards are a celebration of those making a difference to, and championing, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths in Wales.

They were launched last year in a bid to recognise the innovative STEM work being undertaken in Wales, address the diversity gap and skills shortage, and inspire and raise the aspirations of the next generation.

The finalists, which have been shortlisted in 15 categories, will now be considered by an industry-leading panel of Welsh entrepreneurial minds, with the winners being announced at the awards ceremony at Cardiff’s City Hall on November 12.

Head judge Dr Louise Bright, founder of the Wales Women in STEM network, said: “We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the first Wales STEM Awards.

“The calibre of those nominated has been second to none and we have been overwhelmed by the number of entries.

“We really feel that our shortlist represents some of the most progressive organisations and individuals at the forefront of STEM innovation in Wales.

“We’d like to congratulate all those shortlisted and look forward to seeing them all at the awards evening in May.”

The shortlisted Newport businesses were Cintec International, a leader in engineering of structural masonry reinforcement and anchoring systems, was shortlisted in the Innovation in Engineering category.

The Office for National Statistics was shortlisted in both the Innovation in Maths and STEM Educational Programme of the Year.

While individuals who were named finalists for Woman of the Year were Hazel Thorpe of the Intellectual Property Office, and Clare Johnson of the University of South Wales.

Dr Drew Nelson, the founder and CEO of IQE, the world’s leading supplier of advanced semiconductor products, was shortlisted for the STEM Leader of the Year category.