David and Alison Lea-Wilson, founders of North Wales based SME Halen Môn, were both awarded MBE honours in the 2019 Queen’s New Year Honours list for their work supporting business and industry in Wales.
Halen Môn is a world-renowned artisan sea salt company with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, located on the coast of Anglesey. They are one of the longest running KESS 2 company partners, having successfully collaborated with Bangor University on numerous doctoral level research projects since the first KESS programme, which started in 2009.
Both David and Alison continue to play an active role in contributing towards Welsh industry-based research through their company Halen Môn, which currently has two ongoing chemistry based projects with Bangor University. The partnership, facilitated by ESF funding through KESS 2, allows researchers to work within an active business sector, giving real-world value to their scientific research.
One such project at Halen Môn focuses on their global responsibility to be a sustainable company by means of developing new bi-products from factory waste. In partnership with the School of Chemistry at Bangor, this study works on providing a full chemical audit of the sea salt manufacturing process which can then aid in reducing overall waste production.
Another area of research Halen Môn are supporting is that of health and personal care, branching their interest beyond that of artisan food products. This particular research project works closely with Ysbyty Gwynedd’s ENT department to improve people’s nasal well-being by facilitating the development of saline products based on “clean seas”, with a scope for future medical application.
“David and I are absolutely delighted to have our work recognised in this way. We have always taken full advantage of the networks available to us from the University. The Chemistry department and its KESS 2 programmes has been instrumental in helping us start our business, making us more efficient and allowing us to diversify” said Alison Lea-Wilson.
Research Project Acknowledgements:
“An in depth analysis of salt production, crystallisation and the safeguarding of sustainability at Halen Môn”
School of Chemistry, Bangor University.
Charlotte Booth, Dr Leigh Jones, Dr Vera Fitzsimmons-Thoss and Halen Môn.
“Element profiling in normal and pathological human nasal mucus.”
School of Natural Sciences (Chemistry), Bangor University.
Eluned Hudson, Dr Loretta M. Murphy, Mr David Hill (ENT Ysbyty Gwynedd) and Halen Môn.