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There was a time once when the nearest I would get to awards was to win one (very rarely I might add) – but it seems these days I spend a lot more time judging them.

A few weeks ago I was one of the judges on the Northeast’s first Digital Awards – the award dinner is coming up in a day or two so I won’t give the game away. It’ll be all over the Northeast press no doubt in a couple of days. As I write this I’m in a hotel in Cheshire for tomorrow’s judging of the “National Business Awards” – Small business section… and in a few weeks I’ll be taking up my (by now) customary role helping to judge Computing magazine’s Annual Awards. I’ve also done the same for the BCS and other organisations.

All of this takes some considerable effort and most of the judges do this for nothing (some, usually in the public sector actually get paid by their companies for their time) and sometimes in the heat of it all I’ve been known to think “what am I doing”… but of course the reality is that these awards help promote British business – they highlight the best in our up and coming entrepeneurs – and that has to be good – we should shout about our successes from the rooftops.

So often it seems that all innovation comes from a sweatshop in China or “somewhere in California”- it’s good to know that our own guys are beavering away and making a success of it – and even better to know that there are people out there arranging to ensure that their endeavours get the acknowledgement they deserve…

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