Twelve companies have been shortlisted for the 2005 Lord Stafford Awards for Innovation.
Now in its eighth year the awards are a channel for innovative and creative companies across the West Midlands, enabling them to showcase their talent.
The leading categories, Development in Innovation and Achievement in Innovation are open to any business collaborating with a West Midlands university.
It was these categories, which attracted over 50 applications by the closing date; with a record 60 in total.
Lord Stafford, Patron of the Awards, said: "There is no doubt that the West Midlands is a hive of innovative activity.
"The region, and those inspired companies within it, are forging ahead in terms of quality and diversity. All the companies involved have a very bright future ahead of them."
The short listed companies are:
Development in Innovation
1. Innoverso, of Newcastle under Lyme, in collaboration with Staffordshire University - the company has devised a diagnostic testing system for mobile phones and accessories that accurately detects faults within seconds.
2. Gekko Technology, Coventry in collaboration with Staffordshire University - the development of a new controller for a novel lighting system for moving image cameras.
3. The Electric Security Curtain Company, Prees, Shropshire, in collaboration with Staffordshire University - a flexible security curtain system, which can be applied to window apertures of any size by relatively low skilled personnel.
4. Sirane, of Telford, in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton - the company has developed a knottying machine to be sold to packers who will use it in conjunction with a new chicken-roasting bag, which the company has also developed.
5 . Middlemarchmarch Environmental, of Coventry, in collaboration with Aston University - a two year knowledge transfer partnership to enable organisations to fulfil their environmental obligations.
6. Tactile Touch, of Coventry, in collaboration with Coventry University - work on a non-invasive hardness tester.
Achievement in Innovation
1. Intelligent Orthopaedics, of Stoke on Trent, in collaboration with both Keele and Staffordshire Universities - the development of Storm, a medical devices product which, it is claimed, shortens operation times by up to 50 per cent
2. A.J. Business Solutions, of Stafford, in collaboration with Staffordshire University - a healthcare related mobile information product.
3. Gimble, of Telford, in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton - a reading aid/device that keeps a book open for hands free reading yet still allows the pages to be turned easily.
4. Maxsys, of Walsall, in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton - an energy saving system that, it is alleged, can lead to savings of at least five per cent on oil or gas bills with a commensurate reduction in emissions.
5. Cobra Biomanufacturing, of Keele, Staffordshire, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham - a new approach to vaccines and medicines where Cobra produces a number of plasmids for a range of therapeutic purposes such as the treatment of cancer and gene therapy. It has developed a suitable process to allow the required solutions to be separated less violently than before.
6. Patrick Eggle Guitars in collaboration with the UCE - the company has developed a low cost, volume-produced guitar for the American market. The guitar has been developed using a moulded plastic material, reducing costs, but still giving high quality performance.
The winners will be announced at an awards dinner in November at the National Motorcycle Museum.