The number of Queen’s Awards for Technology has dropped steadily over the past 10 years. However, 14 firms were honoured this week for `a significant advance in the application of technology that has achieved commercial success’. The winners were:

* Acordis Speciality Filters, honoured jointly with ConvaTec for the development of Aquacel Hydrofibre wound dressing, that forms a gel over the wound to keep it moist..

* AirSense Technology, for its Stratos-HSSD high sensitivity smoke detector which can adjust to suit different environments and distinguish between dust and smoke.

* Alstom Energy, for a 3D steam turbine blade that has been used in nuclear power stations to improve turbine output.

* Brunton’s Propellers, for an automatic variable-pitch marine propeller that alters its pitch to suit the boat it is mounted on.

* Digital Engineering, for a system that emulates the different types of ISDN phone lines used around the world.

* Glaxo Research and Development, for the Diskus multi-dose dry-powder inhaler used to treat asthma.

* Telecom Systems, a division of Hewlett-Packard, for revolutionising the monitoring and correction of faults on telephone networks in real time.

* Immunodiagnostic Systems, for test kits for determining vitamin D in body material.

* Marathon Belting, for Copsil, a press compensating mat used on large hydraulic presses.

* Exhaust Gas Cooling, a division of Serck Heat Transfer, for exhaust gas coolers for diesel engines

* Snell and Wilcox, for Prefix, which provides high-quality noise reduction and digital decoding of video signals.

* The Technology Partnership, for the ChemScan single-cell bacteria detector.

* Zeneca Agrochemicals, for Amistar, a fungicide which acts as both protectant and curative.