This year marks Cockermouth firm Createc’s 10th anniversary.

Createc, which works in the civil nuclear, defence, rail, aerospace, security and medical sectors, has won many awards and holds two Queen’s Awards – one for innovation and one for international trade.

It works all over the world and its technology has been used to help investigate and clean up the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

Chief executive Matt Mellor started his career as an academic working in research and development at Oxford University before moving to Cumbria and joining REACT Engineering.

“REACT put the emphasis on entrepreneurship and I joined the company to apply what I had learned in nuclear medicine to nuclear engineering,” he said.

In particular Matt was able to apply his knowledge in medical imaging to provide smart, technological solutions to the nuclear clean-up industry.

In 2007, Matt was the technical lead in setting up REACT’s aerial surveying company Hi-Def, which gave him valuable experience.

Hi-Def went on to be a sustainable, successful business in its own right and in 2016 became part of the BioConsult SH group.

Createc started out in 2010 with just three members of staff - Matt, Alan Shippen and Pete Rodgers.

The company’s mission was to create a profitable business out of computer vision and robotics research and development, demonstrating the value such a service adds to industry.

Building on technological expertise in the nuclear sector learned from REACT Engineering, Createc developed its N-Visage technology which was to be used in the clean-up following the Fukushima accident in Japan.

Closer to home, Createc used its intellectual property in computer vision to build a business opportunity and set up spin-out company Sportlight. Earlier this year, it added a second spin-out from its robotics expertise to create Createc Robotics.

Looking ahead, as society and industry move out of a Covid-19 lockdown, Matt sees robotics playing an ever more important role - but warns those who think it will be an overnight change, to be more patient.

“Society has always overestimated what technological development will take place over a two to five-year period. But it has always underestimated what development will take place over 20 years,” said Matt.

“Technological development is an accumulation of small goals which build on top of each other. It creeps forward so that over a 20 year period people then look back and are amazed at how much the world has changed.

“In 20 years’ time we are going to have a lot more robots, and we will have improved collaboration between human and machine.

“In some areas that might be helping to remove people from having to carry out tasks in hazardous environments. In other areas it might be giving people more senses and more capabilities.”

Createc applies its thinking and technologies to any problem to find a solution and takes a flexible approach to applying them - so they can be adapted for a range of industries and a range of situations.

It is an approach which has seen its solutions applied in a range of industries and settings, including nuclear and defence, rail and security. Among future growth areas for Createc are heavy engineering, major industrial and general construction.

Createc’s strategy as it moves beyond its 10 year anniversary is to concentrate on research and development to launch a series of further spin-out companies.

Two things Matt is keen to influence in the wider economy to help support the company’s ambitions involve funding and leadership.

“We need to make sure that the UK is more start-up friendly and we need more entrepreneurs who want to come and run these businesses,” said Matt.

“To me an entrepreneur takes complete ownership and picks their way forward and proceeds confidently in the face of doubt.”

Createc is certainly proceeding with confidence.

Matt said: “We have had a sustained growth rate of 40 per cent, and we are focused on continuing to grow at this rate.

“In the first 10 years we have grown from a company with three people turning over £180,000 to 30 people turning over £3.5m.

“To sustain that level of growth by the end of the next 10 years we would have 300 people turning over more than £60m.”

Matt has a clear vision of how the company will keep driving forward, and his motivation and appetite to lead the company to further success is clear.

“My motivation comes from bringing something completely new to life which results in the world being a better place,” he said.

*To read the full interview with Matt and get all the latest business news pick up the July edition of in-Cumbria magazine