TO acknowledge the thriving export industry in the south west, which has bucked the national trend by growing its exports by 2.3 per cent, Atlas Elektronik UK is encouraging exporters to enter the Dorset Business Awards 2015, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo.

The Dorset Export Award is sponsored by Atlas Elektronik UK – a leading provider of science and technology solutions to the UK Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy and other defence departments and corporate customers internationally.

Last year’s winner, Think Research, operates from a single base in Poole and in the last 10 years has provided air traffic management and airport consultancy to 25 countries across three continents.

Conor Mullan, managing director of Think Research, said: “We have been able to use our success in the awards as a springboard for engaging with the local business community more, which has helped enormously.

“Since winning the award, we have just closed our most successful year ever, bringing additional money into the local economy and creating even more highly skilled local jobs. I hope we continue to do so, and promote Bournemouth and Dorset internationally.

“It's easy to see the external benefits in terms of publicity and recognition, but entering and even winning the award has internal benefits too. For a company like ours, which relies so much on good staff, it was great to be able to win on their behalf.”

This award is open to any business which has a BH/DT postcode, including multi-nationals or their subsidiaries with a major presence in Dorset, to small private companies. Entrants must have been trading for at least three years and have a record of international trade during this period.

Entrants should include details of the following:

• Commitment level to international trade

• Achievement of sales into new markets or an increase in export turnover

• Training initiatives in place for staff to help win or develop new export business

• How products and/or services are marketed in export countries

• Future export growth aspirations

• Annual turnover

Sam West of Atlas Elektronik UK said: “International trade is alive and thriving in the south west, thanks to the hard work and dedication of businesses across all sectors within this region. This award is a celebration of the contributions these Dorset companies have made to the county and the wider International economy as a whole.”

The Awards are also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105 and are free to enter. Entrants can submit an entry via or print an entry form and submit a paper-based entry. The closing date for entry is September 11. Entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve tickets for the gala dinner at the BIC on Thursday November 26, contact Lorraine Hubbard on 01202 714810.