European Innovation Award 2005

Innovation Awards 2005

Italian SME, Raytec Vision, and Spanish-based multinational, Chupa Chups, were presented on 29.6. with the Innovation Relay Centre network’s award for most successful technology transfer from industry.

The award recognises the successful introduction of Raytec Vision’s innovative X-Ray inspection system to Chupa Chups’ production line, ensuring a more efficient quality-control process and better sweets for Europe’s young (and not so young) children.

Presented by Bruno Wattenbergh, chief operations officer of the Brussels Enterprise Agency, host of today’s annual meeting of the IRC network, the award aims to promote the importance of transnational co-operation for European competitiveness. This is the focus of the EU-funded Innovation Relay Centres network, which helps small firms across Europe gain access to the best available technologies.

 Quality control is as important a part of the food sector as in any industrial sector. Automation of parts of the production process helps to improve the efficiency and reduce the costs of the process and ensure the highest quality products are consistently shipped by manufacturers.

Raytec Vision is a specialist in the development of machines to sort food, by colour and shape and to grade for quality using X-Ray equipment. On the other side, multinational sweet manufacturer Chupa Chups was looking for equipment to help them improve the quality control of their products.

Brought together at a brokerage event organised through the IRC network, the two firms worked with their respective local IRCs to seal a deal in which Raytec Vision has developed a specific tool for the Chupa Chups production line. The Raytec Vision machine has been tailored to the precise shape of the Chupa Chups sweets. After extensive testing, the machine has been installed on the production line and Raytec Vision will also provide ongoing technical assistance and monitoring.

According to Luis Pérez Gómez of Chupa Chups, the new machine will help them reduce the rejection rate for their sweets, and access new markets. “We are going to improve the quality of our products, and therefore our competitiveness in the most demanding markets,” he says.

“Being an SME, an agreement with such a large company was a real challenge,” underlines Raytec Vision representative, “but thanks to the extremely valuable assistance from the IRC network we were able to reach a deal.”


The Innovation Relay Centre (IRC) network, part-funded by the European Union, is the world’s largest aimed at building technology partnerships between organisations in different countries. Primarily focused on assisting small firms, the network helps them access new and innovative technologies which can help them improve their products and processes, thus becoming more competitive and contributing to Europe’s overall economic health.

The network has grown in the ten years since the first IRCs were created. It now encompasses 230 offices in 33 countries, staffed by experts in technology transfer with local knowledge able to address the specific needs of local firms. But through the network they have access to technologies and expertise from across Europe and beyond.

The winners of the award for the most successful transnational technology transfer from industry – and a parallel award for the most successful transnational technology transfer exploiting research results – were selected by the European Commission from submissions from IRCs across the network. The criteria included the socio-economic impact, the enhancement of industrial process, and efficient networking across the IRC network

Rassegna Stampa

Copyright 2011-2017 - Luigi D. CAPRA