Stephen Byers (right) and wife Karen Byers being presented with the GGF Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award by then-GGF president John Agnew.

Stephen Byers, co-developer of the ClearShield System and co-founder and managing director of Ritec International, died on March 6, 2021 as a result of pneumonia. He was 79 years old.

Byers and his wife and business partner, Karen, are well-known figures in the glass industry, both in the UK and internationally, according to the company.

“The inseparable team set out over 40 years ago to challenge the glass industry and transform perceptions and attitudes toward the protection and maintenance of glass surfaces. They displayed staunch determination and admirable dedication to raising awareness on the corrosion of glass, and most importantly how it may be avoided or corrected. And their efforts paid off,” reads a company statement. “Stephen and Karen single-handedly created a new and global industry for the protection of glass surfaces, now firmly and permanently accepted by the whole of the glass and construction industry. Their award-winning ClearShield System (later rebranded the ClearShield Eco-System) for the renovation, protection and maintenance of glass, pioneered and still continues to be a leader in ‘non-stick,’ easy-clean, glass surface technology.”

The couple’s achievements were recognized in 2019 by the Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF) when they received an award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry. Byers worked with the GGF to begin the development of some industry standards, and to make health and safety and ethics driving factors in the growth of this new industry. Today, their technology is used in more than 70 countries on commercial and residential buildings as well as on ships and other transport vehicles, and in many other applications. But also lesser known, the duo introduced innovations such as a system for the protection of glass and ceramic electrical insulators with their VoltShield System.

“I feel privileged to have enjoyed such a wonderful life with Stephen and to have shared the excitements and challenges of creating amazing innovations with him,” says Karen Byers. “I am determined more than ever to keep Ritec International running smoothly, feeling great strength to ensure its prosperity so that Stephen’s legacy may live on for many years to come.”

The company announced that its activities will carry on uninterrupted in honor of Stephen Byers.

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