TEAMWORK and collaboration by employees at a Bradford technology firm have been praised by a royal visitor to the award-winning global exporter. .

The Duke of York congratulated staff at Radio Design today during a tour of the factory in Salts Mill, Saltaire.

He was visiting the £21 million turnover firm, which employs about 240 people locally and another 60 in India and China producing transmission technology for mobile network operators, as it received a Queen's Award for International Trade.

It won its second royal accolade in four years after doubling overseas trade over the last three years and now sells 65 per cent of its products abroad.

In 2011 Radio Design won an innovation award for its innovative equipment enabling mobile network operators to share transmission masts.

A relaxed Prince Andrew showed a keen interest in Radio Design's product development and processes as he chatted with executives, senior engineers, technical development specialists and shop floor production staff .

The Duke said:" A Queen's Award is not easy to come by and recognises the expertise, collaboration, leadership and teamwork of everyone in the business.

"From what I have heard and seen, Radio Design's trajectory can only be upwards. Achieving a Queen's Award marks it out as one of the best companies in the UK."

Company founder and managing director Eric Hawthorn said its record in the Queen's Awards mirrored its progress, firstly as a technology innovator and then as a growing exporter.

Showing the Duke around the plant he revealed that its initial innovative kit was originally dunked in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal behind the mill for 24 hours to ensure it was watertight.

Mr Hawthorn, a regional export ambassador, started the business in 2007 with several former colleagues after being made redundant from their previous firm.

Along with operations in Finland, India and China Radio Design has driven business in those regions and is now looking to expand overseas sales further. It has appointed a business development executive to open up new markets in Africa.

It is also targetting increase business in the Middle East and expand its operations there on the back of the 4G revolution.

He said: “Gaining a second Queen’s Award is just brilliant and a real boost for the whole team.

"We have realised from winning an award in 2011 that this accolade brings very real benefits to a company. The Queen’s Awards are highly respected and recognised around the world and I’m sure that having this recognition will help us grow exports further.”

The Queen's Award trophy was presented by Professor Bob Cryan, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, who is vice-chancellor of Huddersfield University, where earlier the Duke of York had been installed as Chancellor.