A Telford company that designs and manufactures gas fireplaces has been shortlisted for a prestigious innovation award.
Charlton & Jenrick was established in 1986 and now employs 45 staff at its base in Halesfield.
Around three years ago, the company realised the gas fireplace industry was in downturn as a result of increasingly stringent Government regulations on energy use, overseas competition and, more recently, with the introduction of home information packs.
Looking for innovative ways to over-come these challenges, the company linked up with the University of Wolverhampton.
By joining the Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, it was allocated a graduate to work with the company on 3D design software to improve both efficiency and the appearance of its products.
The company has been shortlisted in the final three for the prestigious Lord Stafford Achievement in Innovation Award which will be unveiled at a ceremony at the NEC on Thursday.
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the Lord Stafford Awards, which showcase West Midlands companies that have worked with universities and innovation programmes to develop new products and processes.
The gala event is the showpiece of Advantage West Midlands' first Festival of Innovation and will honour companies and individuals in four categories - impact through innovation, achievement in innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge transfer champion.
Barry Charlton, managing director of Charlton & Jenrick, said: "We recognised some time ago that our core market was in serious decline and we needed to be innovative.
"Government legislation is getting tighter and tighter in terms of the energy efficiency of gas fireplaces. Linking up with the University of Wolverhampton meant we were able to take on the services of Tom Greenwood who has been instrumental in helping us to put into place research and development procedures and systems."