International Business Festival 2018




Ian Hughes
25 April 2019

Running a business, any business, can be an all-consuming task. We recently met a man who heads-up five. He’s one of the most ardent supporters of Liverpool’s International Business Festival and his multiple success stories demonstrate the transformational impact a major business event like ours can have.

During our research into the value of the 2018 International Business Festival, one name kept cropping up in connection to several innovative businesses in the Liverpool City Region. That name is Jonathan Quinn – inventor, entrepreneur, engineer and this year's 'businessman of the year'.

Initially approached to speak at our 2018 event, Jonathan has turned a 25-year career in engineering and technology into several remarkable businesses. His talent for transforming the latest manufacturing technology into innovative new companies has made him an in-demand speaker on the national stage.

But like all savvy B2B speakers, Jonathan got a lot more out of attending our event than a roomful of applauding delegates. Here, Jonathan introduces us to four of his businesses, each with a success story that ties directly to Liverpool’s biennial business event. We’ll try to be quick, Jonathan is a busy man.




“Quinnovations is the parent company for several other businesses. Together we seek to solve international problems through engineering, tech, research and development. Our mantra is innovate, inspire and improve.  

“The great thing about Quinnovations is that it enables us to harness all our activity under one larger Company and umbrella brand. I employ 18 top-ranking members of staff and we come together to share expertise, partner and co-promote our businesses, much like a consortium. It’s an effective way to grow, expand and differentiate your business portfolio.

“Through Quinnovations, we were able to promote four of our  companies to targeted audiences at the 2018 International Business Festival; EV Range Extender, Blockwalls, Smart Creative Technologies LTD and Hygienic Innovations, each experiencing great success but in different ways.”  



EV Range Extender and Range X

“EV Range Extender’s mission is to prolong and preserve the life of batteries in electric vehicles. Our Range X system charges electric vehicle batteries whilst the vehicle is being driven, to extend battery life and range. Range X is compact, lightweight and energy efficient and can be installed in any new electronic vehicle.

“Initially, I attended the festival to specifically tell delegates about EV Range Extender and our Range X product and I invited several key partner delegations to attend, including our U.S based manufacturer, Orbital Power, who work with NASA and originally produced our EV Range Extender engines in Florida.

“Our Chairman Lionel had these preconceived notions that Liverpool was a city in decline and a city struggling to cope in a post-industrial world. The festival just totally blew that away. Lionel witnessed first-hand the world-leading innovation of our universities, the strong business support-ecosystem, and the talent and creativity we have here in Liverpool.

“Our original plan was to manufacture Range X in the US, but they were so excited by the Liverpool that they’re now looking to locate this branch of their business here, investing more that £3m in a pilot manufacturing pant that’s set to open February 2020.

“Through contacts made at the festival, Range X has been able to work with scientists from Liverpool John Moores University, further testing and validating the EV Range Extender engine. We’ve already produced more than 100 units, creating 40 new jobs but, once the testing is finalised we could be looking at a much larger investment of up to £30m, developing a more extensive factory and expanding the company to create an extra 250 jobs.”




“Now, you might think that making concrete blocks is about as boring as business gets but you’d be wrong. Blockwalls’ concrete blocks are the world’s highest, safest and strongest stacking solution and they lock together a bit like Lego.

“The blocks can be assembled to erect structures instantaneously, reducing construction time by 50 per cent and removing the need for expensive joining techniques or intensive labour. This has all kinds of incredibly useful applications all over the world. So far, Blockwalls blocks have been used to create warehouses, prevent floods and support unstable structures or land mass.

“Apart from being economical and easy to install, Blockwalls’ blocks are special because they can be built twice as high as our competitor’s products and in terms of strength their comparable to steel and reinforced concrete. When you add in the fact that they’re also highly sustainable and re-usable you start to see how exciting concrete blocks can be!

“All of these attributes mean that if we can get this product in front of the companies that need it we usually make a sale, so it’s all about facilitating that introduction and growing our international profile. That’s where the festival really came through for Blockwalls.

“Because the event attracted such an international audience, we were able to promote the product directly to buyers in new, overseas markets. We made so many leads and we’ve now received substantial orders from places as far away as Brunei and the Caribbean.

“But it wasn’t just about leads and sales. Our relationship to the festival put us on the radar of the DIT [Department for International Trade]. This newly established relationship opened the door for us to a whole host of new international contacts.

“Ultimately, this led to us to an EU partnership with Fibo Intercon, a Danish company who produce total system solutions for the international concrete industry. This connection resulted in Blockwalls generating an additional £60,000 in revenue last year and the potential to generate up to an extra quarter million pounds in sales turnover every year.”



Smart Creative Solutions Ltd

“Businesses all over the world are losing money by continuing to use inefficient and out-of-date processing methods, especially when it comes to electrical waste. Smart Creative Technologies aims to turn this around.

“Smart Creative Technologies Ltd has pioneered a novel new system that has the power to revolutionise the current process for handling electronic waste. The company recovers high-value materials including silver, lead, gold, copper, tin and even plastic through a clean, green, low carbon, low energy chemical process, where metals are easily recovered without burning off the resin & high energy techniques.

“Not only does Smart creative Technologies Ltd reduce waste, but it conserves natural resources, reduces harmful environmental impacts and saves landfill space, so it’s a very ethical business than businesses can really get behind because it can help save the planet and save businesses so much money in the process. Recovering 100% of the value with low energy, its genius!

“The festival enabled us to demonstrate the Smart creative Technology process to a captive audience of potential buyers and investors. We could take them through the process and share the positive results our clients experienced.  Through contacts made at the festival, we connected with three very exciting leads in the USA, Singapore and India. This has led to global expansion in investments and new licence and franchisee opportunities.”




“The event of the super-bug made us think about the importance of fast, effective cleaning across all sectors, including health and catering related industries. When medical equipment can be cleaned better and quicker lives are saved. Chemicals and cloths used to clean everything from thermometers to MRI scans can carry bacteria.

“Sonox is a completely different way to clean. It uses ultrasonics that vibrate 30,000 times per second in cold water to remove all residue and break all bacteria leaving them inert and able to reproduce.

“We showcased a very early prototype version of Sonox under a different brand name at the festival, which gave us a steady stream of footfall to demonstrate Sonox’s potential. The clear industry related themes of the festival, like ‘Health and Life Science’ and ‘Manufacturing’ enabled us to tweak our pitch to delegates in that sector and speak to them in their language.

“People were impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of the product. Just off the back of this one event, we generated so much interest in Sonox that we have now pre-sold 500 units, with a commitment to purchase a further 500,  to Diversified Technologies INC, a California based tech company that will rent the product to the USA coffee and beauty industry.

“Through the festival, I also met with the Liverpool City Region based CAL International, who were exhibiting at the event. CAL International are the engineers and manufacturers of the Needlesmart product, a market leading technology that heats hypodermic needles into a molten state, before compressing in into a completely safe and sterile metal ball.

“This introduction led to CAL delivering a full electrical and mechanical redesign of the Sonox system, which is now fully portable and has an enhanced design. CAL International are currently producing a new prototype of the Sonox product and they’re contracted to produce the first 1,000 units later this year. This has helped us to retain 95 per cent of the assembly of the product in the LiverpooL City Region, which is a fantastic success story.”



Jonathan Quinn

“Since speaking at the festival I have been invited to speak at two other major business events, including the Smart Factory EXPO and the Future Tech Festival in Delhi, where I was personally invited by the High Commissioner for India, Sir Dominic Asquith. We have also hosted six international partner delegations, through contacts we met at the festival.

“I believe that all these things helped me win the 2019 Wirral Life’s ‘Businessman of The Year 2019 award, which is fantastic. Since the festival, I have also accepted the position of Director of Wirral Chamber of Commerce and NED Chairman of Complete Training Solutions Ltd, now the world’s leading provider of GWO (Global Wind Organisation) courses in the world.

“Getting involved in the opportunities the festival presented has bolstered both me and by business’s credibility, especially internationally. People see you at the event, alongside people like the Duke of Cambridge, Juergen Maier, Liam Fox, Sadiq Khan and Greg Clark and it gives them more confidence in you and elevates you to another level.

“It’s not easy communicating Quinovations broad portfolio of companies and products to people, and all the things we’re involved in. But apart from all the other opportunities the festival has presented, it really demonstrates the value of thinking big, believing in your potential and not being afraid to expand and be ambitious.  

“With an event like the festival, everything becomes easier. Your market, no matter how varied, is right in front of you and they’re ready to engage. Major business events are critically important for Liverpool City Region. I can’t wait to see how future events develop. It’s good to keep things moving forward and keep it fresh.”



In global terms, Quinnovations are a relatively small business, but that hasn’t stopped them forging significant advancements in fields as varied as construction, health and life science, electrical waste and battery power – all within an ethical and sustainable framework.

They successfully utilised our biennial business event to enhance their profile, generate leads and maximise sales. You can do the same. Make sure you sign-up for future Liverpool City Region business events on this site. Don’t be too busy to let substantial opportunity pass you by.

For more information on Quinnovations and its subsidiary companies follow the links:

- Quinnovations

- EV Range Extender & Range X

- Blockwalls

- Smart Creative Technologies Ltd / Bullion Tech

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