Rayner, based in Dominion Way, Worthing, won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2020 in the Innovation category for its RayOne Fully Preloaded IOL.
IOL, which stands for intraocular lens, is a man-made lens implanted in the eye as part of treatment for cataracts and other eye conditions.
What makes their invention stand out is that it is designed to create the smallest incision to the eyeball possible during cataract surgery, speeding up the recovery process, and that the surgeon does not have to touch the lens, cutting out another step in the process and leaving a hand free to use another instrument.
Rayner CEO, Tim Clover, said “The success of RayOne has been a remarkable journey which dates back to 2009 when our in-house engineering and R&D teams first started investigating methods for 'rolling' a lens into a tight cylinder so that it could be injected through a small diameter nozzle of just 1.65 mm.
"This innovation was patented and trademarked as our ‘Lock & Roll’ technology.
"The RayOne project involved staff right across the business and required a major investment in a brand-new manufacturing facility in Worthing to produce the new injector and lenses.
"I know the whole Rayner team share my pride in this award, being once again recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative companies.”
Now in its 54th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country and Rayner (a previous winner of the award in 2009) is one of only 220 organisations nationally to be honoured with the achievement.
In partnership with Sir Harold Ridley, Rayner made the world’s first intraocular lens in 1949.
Since the 1960s, the standard procedure for cataract surgery is to remove the hardened, cloudy natural lens - often referred to as the cataract - and replace it with the transparent artificial acrylic lens.
Over the years, these artificial lenses have evolved from solidlenses requiring a large incision size to foldable lenses which can be inserted through an incision size of less than 3mm wide.
Later this year, representatives from Rayner are due to attend an exclusive reception at Buckingham Palace.
The Lord-Lieutenant of the County of West Sussex Mrs Susan Pyper, Her Majesty The Queen’s local representative, will also visit Rayner to present the award.
Rayner markets its products worldwide in over 80 countries.