Happy New Year! After a successful 2023, the team at DefProc enjoyed a well-deserved break. We’ve returned refreshed and ready for another year of innovative engineering projects. Alongside our client work, we’ve found the time to squeeze in an appearance on BBC Radio Merseyside, two awards shortlists and a feature in the Liverpool Echo!
BBC Radio Merseyside
Pat and Jen kicked off the new year with an interview on BBC Radio Merseyside. They spoke to Kevin Duala about their resolutions and goals for 2024, their journey over the last ten years and the dynamic of a husband and wife-founded business. Inspired by Pat and Jen starting the company in a spare room and eventually moving to Liverpool Science Park, Kevin asked how other people can take the first step to making their business idea a reality:
“The way we’ve approached it all the way through is starting small and slow and building on the steps before. The reason the business started was that we wanted to create our own products. We had our own idea, we did all the design work for it and wanted to take it to a manufacturer and say “We’ve got all these drawings, we’re ready to build it, but we don’t know if it works. Can you build us one?” All the manufacturers we went to said no – they don’t work in ones, it’s too expensive, we’ll do you a hundred. We didn’t want a hundred, we wanted one. We want to make sure it works!
We went from a spare room to a maker space that had a 3D printer and a laser cutter. We met other people there who also had similar ideas – “We’ve got a product, we’d like to make it, but we don’t know how.” They’d speak to Pat, and he’d have some advice, and they’d say, “Well, why don’t you just make that for us?” We realised being in that space that there were so many people with so many ideas and real potential for really good products. They would pay us a little bit of money to make it work for them, and they’d see if they could take it further.”
Listen to the full interview here at the 22-minute mark.
The Business Desk North West Leadership Awards
We’re also thrilled to announce that Jen stands as a finalist in The Business Desk’s North West Leadership Awards in the ‘Technology Leader’ category. The awards celebrate people in the North West region who show the qualities of extraordinary leadership and can demonstrate the positive impact this has had within their organisation.
The last 12 months have seen Jen working incredibly hard to develop a new business strategy for DefProc. This involves developing a sustainable income stream and working on long-term projects to reaffirm our position as a trusted innovation partner. DefProc’s growth in high-profile contracts includes H2Go (Northern Gas Networks, Wales & West Utilities, EIC), Smart Gas Pressure Sensor (Northern Gas Networks) and SmUPS (Innovate UK-funded, Liverpool 5G Create). As a result of these high-profile contracts, we have been recognised for several awards, such as the Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Environmental Award (winner), the Merseyside Independent Business Awards Trades or Manufacturing Business of the Year (finalist), the Make UK Manufacturing Awards (runner-up) and The Engineer Collaborate to Innovate Healthcare & Medical Award.
Jen has also worked hard to implement professional development opportunities for the team at DefProc. As a transformational leader, Jen pays close attention to her team’s needs and provides them with opportunities to give and receive feedback in an informal, open and honest setting. She works collaboratively with the team to create clear career progression paths and ensures that everybody has the opportunity to learn new skills.
The Business Desk North West Leadership Awards will take place on the 27th March at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. Good luck to all the finalists!
Northern Power Women Awards
March will be a busy month, as we will also be attending the Northern Power Women Awards in Manchester! DefProc is a finalist in the Inclusive Innovation category. Social value is at the heart of our approach to innovation. We aspire to create products that embody inclusivity, as our projects try to solve societal problems and benefit the wider community. Our projects include healthcare devices, river-level sensors to monitor the environment, and a projection-mapped interactive game for community events in Liverpool and Leeds. We have also partnered with organisations whose work focuses on reducing social inequalities, including Liverpool 5G Create and the Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care Testbed, to create new technology solutions.
Liverpool Echo feature
Last month, Jen was also featured in the Liverpool Echo sharing her thoughts on the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s December announcement on the future of hydrogen in the UK.
What’s ahead for the rest of the year?
We have a number of groundbreaking projects starting development this year, including a collaboration with Bomac Electric, a prominent player in the heating element industry since 1976. They have gained recognition for their commitment to quality, flexibility and global reach, working with major appliance manufacturers worldwide.
Julia McDonald, commercial and marketing director at Bomac Electric:
“In a new venture funded by Innovate UK, Bomac has found a valuable partner in Defproc Engineering. Despite being the third company they approached at the last minute, Defproc quickly grasped Bomac’s project requirements, delivering a proposal that perfectly aligned with their goals. Moreover, Defproc displayed flexibility in budgeting while remaining dedicated to fulfilling the project’s needs. Though only one month into the 12-month project, the early signs indicate that this collaboration is making the process remarkably seamless for Bomac Electric.”