Newtownabbey director behind smart bench honoured

Alan Lowry, managing director of ESF,  receiving the 'Innovation Director of the Year'  award from Ashleen Feeney, director at KPMG, category sponsor.
Alan Lowry, managing director of ESF, receiving the 'Innovation Director of the Year' award from Ashleen Feeney, director at KPMG, category sponsor.

A Newtownabbey-based businessman’s ‘smart’ thinking has been celebrated by the Institute of Directors.

Alan Lowry, managing director of Environmental Street Furniture (ESF), won Innovation Director of the Year at the 2019 Director of the Year Awards.

It was in recognition of his innovative Stellar Solar Smart Bench – a versatile outdoor bench that utilises solar energy from the sun to provide USB mobile charging, WiFi, LED lighting and data gathering capabilities.

Expressing delight at the award Alan said: “It reinforces to me how special the Stellar Solar Smart Bench really is – I had complete faith in this product from the initial idea and to see that concept brought to life, followed by the success the bench has experienced has been fantastic.

“To be successful in this industry, we need to be innovative, incorporating consumer demand into our products and services and this is something we have achieved with the Stellar Bench. We look forward to developing more products of this nature in years to come.”

Awards judges described ESF as a great small business with excellent potential, driven by an export-led leader with entrepreneurial spirit.

The awards ceremony took place in Belfast where Alan was shortlisted for two awards: Innovation Director of the Year and Export Director of the Year. He will now go on to represent Northern Ireland in the national awards in London later this year.