Keele University Science and Innovation Park company receives Royal accolade

A Keele-based science company has been presented with one of the most coveted awards in UK business at a ceremony at Keele Hall on Monday (26 September 2016).

Dermal Technology Laboratory (DTL Ltd), located on Keele University Science and Innovation Park, received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of their growth in international trade and success in recent years.

DTL has contracts with major pharmaceutical, cosmetic and industrial chemical companies around the world, providing a safety testing service in the field of in vitro dermal absorption.  Using a method which they developed as an OECD test guideline, products such as industrial chemicals and skin creams are tested on donated human skin tissue rather than using living animals.  This testing ensures the development and registration of safe and effective new products for their clients in Europe, USA and Japan.

Professor Jon Heylings, DTL Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, and David Fox, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, were officially presented with the Queen’s Award by Ian Dudson CBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, the Queen’s representative within the county.

Speaking about their Award, David said: “DTL operates in a niche market but has evolved into an international brand representing quality British science.  We are very proud of our achievements and recognise the trust of our clients in placing work with DTL and the outstanding efforts of our team producing high quality studies.

"Working with major multi-national companies and regulators, and collaborating with Keele University, demonstrates that a fledgling firm in North Staffordshire can grow and compete in the international arena."

DTL is also aligned with several enterprise and postgraduate activities with Keele University, mainly with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.  Jon, who holds an honorary position as Professor of Toxicology in the University’s School of Pharmacy, commented:  “We are proud to be based at Keele and to be able to represent Staffordshire on the world stage.  Our collaboration with the University ensures that education, training and business all work together for the benefit of each stakeholder and the wider business community.”

As well as receiving their Queen’s Award and attending a Reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Her Majesty in July, David and Jon used the Keele event to acknowledge the hard work and contribution that their colleagues have had into DTL’s success, presenting their members of staff with a crystal decanter as a gesture of thanks.

Dr Mark Bacon, Keele University’s Director of Engagement and Partnerships and Head of the Science and Innovation Park, said:  “On behalf of the University, I would like to congratulate DTL on their award.  They have been a long-serving tenant on the Science and Innovation Park and have successfully collaborated with Keele in a number of areas.  This joined-up working not only provides DTL with access to Keele’s renowned academic and research knowledge, but also allows for our students and graduates to gain first-hand experience of working in a successful laboratory, giving them a head-start in the development of their careers.”