A company which began life in its managing director's bedroom has picked up the inaugural Birmingham Post Business Technology Award.

Richmond Design and Marketing (RDM), based in Coventry, was established by David Keene after he took voluntary redundancy from Rover in 1993.

Now the firm has grown into a £2.5 million business employing 36 people.

It picked up the award, sponsored by Aston Science Park, for its development of the Auto-txt system.

The system, which links a box in-car to the driver's own mobile phone, uses GSM, GPS and Bluetooth technologies to enable motorists to talk to their vehicles and in the event of theft to safely shut down the vehicle.

Future development plans include providing congestion charging and remote diagnostics.

Mr Keene said: "It is absolutely brilliant to win this award; it really cements the fact we have a great product, a high technology product.

"It is fantastic to be recognised, especially by the guys at Aston Science Park who know their stuff.

"It is not about just me, but the 36 other people at the firm. I am just here to pick up the award while they are back at the company working."

Mr Keene said it had been a good year for his company with the product being taken on by Jaguar and Land Rover to be fitted line-side to their cars, as well as being sold into the after-market.

RDM is in negotiations with other carmakers in America and Europe, but he said it was too early to reveal their identity. "These are big deals which will help the company. This firm has always been about technology.

"We have a 'can-do' attitude. If someone came to see us to build a submarine we would have a go. We have some really talented people producing cutting edge products."

Mr Keene said the Auto-txt was now being modified to include remote diagnostics, dynamic updates of speed cameras and pay-as-you-drive insurance.

He said: "You can build all sorts of things on to the platform. It is 'futureproof'.

"The car companies like it because it is an added selling point for them."

As sponsor, Aston Science Park will provide a package of benefits including use of seminar facilities, promotional events, and equipment to the value of £2,000.

Phil Lines, finance director of Aston Science Park, said: "When the judging panel met several weeks ago to review the winners of the monthly awards, we found some very strong entries and judging was very difficult. There was, however, one particular company which we felt was worthy of a technology award.

"Established in 1993, Richmond Design and Marketing built up a strong reputation as a niche designer and manufacturer of electrical systems to the automotive industry.

"At the start of the millennium they identified a tremendous opportunity in the market and have heavily invested in developing and commercialising a market-leading vehicle protection and tracking system.

"RDM was worthy winners of the Birmingham Post Business Technology Award for 2006." ..SUPL: