Kohler Mira has been granted the Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation for its Mira Flight Safe range of anti-slip shower trays.
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the UK's most prestigious business awards, and are designed to celebrate and encourage business excellence in the UK.
Mira Flight Safe is the anti-slip version of Mira Showers' ever-popular Flight Low shower tray, and was developed by the company in response to market demands for bathroom products that deliver multi-generational bathroom installations.
Made in Mira's production facility in Hull, the trays incorporate two integral finishes – Mira Safe anti-slip and the anti-bacterial BioCote – that will never wear or peel off, or wash away, so the trays retain their anti-slip and anti-bacterial properties for its whole life.
Factors that influenced the grant of the award included a high level of product innovation; the addressing of a specific market-need – an ageing demographic in this case – demonstrable superiority over competitive products, and high levels of Corporate Social Responsibility and strong commercial success. In the case of the latter, for instance, sales of Mira Flight Safe have grown by 55% in the past two years.
Unlike other anti-slip finishes, Mira Flight Safe is intended for the vulnerable user but with a subtle, non-institutional design – there are no raised areas or stick-on roundels, for instance – making it suitable for commercial environments such as hotels. And while the look is very understated, Mira Flight Safe exceeds most stringent anti-slip test – Class C DIN 51097 – when independently certified.
Commenting on the granting of the award, Liz Hazeldene, Kohler Mira's managing director, said: "We are absolutely delighted by the grant of the award, especially in its Innovation category. With the fifth largest research and development budget of any 'white goods' manufacturer in the nation, the company has pioneered many innovative technologies in showering – with Mira Flight Safe being a prime example.
"This commitment to design and engineering excellence has been the centre of our business since its foundation in 1921, and is at the heart of everything we do today. The award is also apt reward to the entire Kohler Mira team who deliver on our promises of quality and customer service every single day."
The award will be presented to the company by the Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, the Queen's local county representative, at a ceremony at Mira's headquarters in Cheltenham; and will be further celebrated at a reception at Buckingham Palace later this year.