Global leader in plastics named as north's most pioneering innovator

John Rainey (left) pictured with Ian Sheppard from Bank of Ireland and Catalyst Inc chief executive Dr Norman Apsley

PLASTICS entrepreneur John Rainey MBE will next month become the ninth recipient of the Catalyst Inc 'Innovation Founder' accolade, effectively a lifetime achievement award for the north's high-tech sector.

Founder of the internationally recognised Denroy Group in Bangor, he success previous luminaries James Leckey, Martin Naughton KBE, Brian Conlon, Dr William Wright CBE, Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE, Tom Eakin, Dr Hugh Cormican and Prof John Anderson.

He will formally receive the gong at the Invent Award finals ( on Thursday October 11 at ICC Belfast in front of 600 investors, entrepreneurs, executives and student innovators.

With an annual turnover of £20 million and a staff of 220, the Denroy Group, with Rainey at the helm, has been moulding plastics markets since 1972, selling into 60 countries.

The company focuses on innovation through the hairbrush brand Denman, with a diverse portfolio of products including medical devices and aircraft wing components.

In the last 20 years John has showed his commitment to the local economy by ensuring jobs stayed in Northern Ireland despite intense economic pressures.

Ian Sheppard, Northern Ireland managing director of Invent 2018 sponsors Bank of Ireland UK, said: “We have another deserving recipient in John as this year's Innovation Founder.

"Under his leadership, Denroy's success has been fuelled by an ambition to build a world-leading business. Through continually investing in new product development, technical skills and talent they have not only grown a strong original business but, with vision and innovation tactically expanded into complimentary sectors.”

Dr Norman Apsley, chief executive at Catalyst Inc, added: "While they come from a wide variety of sectors, John and our other Innovation Founders share a common characteristic - having the tenacity and vision to develop home grown innovation into remarkable success stories.

"They are all a testament to the fact that in Northern Ireland we are as capable as anywhere in the world at creating an outstanding breakthrough business."

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