Winner of the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) SME of the Year award, CMYK Business Technology, is celebrating the success of both Wardley and Bill Quay Primary schools STEM pupils, in the recent VEX Robotics competition in the USA, having donated £1,000 prize money to each to help fund the opportunity of a lifetime.

Community-conscious, CMYK, which established its Newcastle operations in January 2021, donated    the funds to the schools, having qualified from the national VEX competitions and becoming two out of only four schools in the country to represent the UK in the prestigious World VEX Robotics competition, at the beginning of May.

Held in Dallas, STEM pupils from around the globe gathered to celebrate their accomplishments and compete to be crowned champions.

Both schools were shortlisted and Wardley went on to win the Judges Award for the maths division.

The award is presented to a team the judges determine is deserving of special recognition. Judges consider a number of possible criteria, such as a team displaying exemplary effort and perseverance at the event, or team accomplishments or endeavours during the season that may not fit existing awards.

CMYK now operates nationally across its six regional sites providing a wide range of technologies and services, including all aspects of Managed IT Services and encompassing hardware, software and associated support, Managed Print and Scanning Services, Telecoms, Business Connectivity, Cloud Services and Visitor Management Solutions.

Over the last three years, the company has experienced significant growth and won several contracts in the automotive sector with the help of its active membership of the NEAA. These include Unipres UK, Ford Aerospace and Smart Manufacturing Solutions.

For the fourth year running, CMYK will be a sponsor and deliver digital sign-in registration services at the NEAA’s flagship event, the North East Automotive Expo 2024, held in September at the Beacon of Light, Sunderland.

Laura Gage, marketing and PR manager at the North East Automotive Alliance, said: “It is truly something special to watch a company grow its foothold and impact in the region in only a few years. The Alliance gives businesses the opportunity to network, get their name and reputation out there and CMYK is evidence that deeply motivated, ethical and community-conscious businesses can create huge success in a short space of time. It has done this by putting value and time in to creating connections within the wider business community and championing younger generations.”

Craig Pratt, regional director, CMYK, said: “It has been another amazing year for the CMYK team, to win SME of the Year at the recent NEAA Awards was huge. For the award to have been associated with the North East Institute of Technology, being a key member and an organisation that understands the tech industry inside out, was a real indicator we are making an impact and bringing value to the region.

“Our work to assist STEM focussed schools is incredibly important and reflects our belief that we are all better when we work together and give back. CMYK has offered support to both Bill Quay and Wardley Primary Schools and several others in the region, for a couple of years now. This includes collaborating with our partners and launching a new sustainable tech programme with our client and partner, Opencast. A significant number of laptops, screens and MacBooks have been donated to the schools so they can be used for coding and STEM projects. CMYK is committed to facilitating the rehoming of technology within education and we will continue to drive ‘tech for good’ to ensure as many pupils as possible have access to good tech. This is an ongoing commitment and one we are passionate about.

“Over the past few years, we’ve got to know the children that competed in Dallas and it’s been a huge privilege to help support their journey. It is exciting to see the NEAA is committed to our younger generation, not only through awards donations but having assigned a dedicated space at this year’s Expo, so these young individuals can showcase their talents, mingle with businesses, and form strong connections to help make their STEM endeavours sustainable. Most importantly, it will highlight to the pupils the possibilities available for employment within our region and how they can turn their passion for tech and engineering into a career.”