Shining a spotlight on how innovations in science and technology are created and applied to build a sustainable economy for Arizona's future, the Arizona Technology Council in conjunction with the Arizona Commerce Authority, announced the winners of the 2013 Governor's Celebration of Innovation (GCOI) Awards presented by Avnet, Inc. This prestigious annual gala and awards ceremony was held at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“As we begin to see improvements in the economy, innovation is more important than ever," said Steven G Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. "It is essential that we celebrate the creative spirit of Arizona by recognizing and honoring the state's most innovative thinkers. We congratulate all the winners and extend our thanks for their part in advancing Arizona as a top-tier technology state."
The winners and finalists were evaluated and chosen by a selection committee of experts independent of the Council. Committee members included:
- Hunter Bennett, OneNeck IT Services
- James Goulka, Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF)
- Dr. Mani Janakiram, Intel Corporation
- Bill Loux, Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE)
- Mary O'Reilly, PhD, CEM, Science Foundation Arizona
- Bob Rasmussen, Honeywell Aerospace
The winners in their respective categories are:
Company Award Winners:
- Innovator of the Year - Start-Up Company: Yolia Health, Phoenix, Arizona
Yolia Health is a bio-medical device company recognized for its True Vision Treatment (TVT) a non-invasive and fully reversible procedure for treating presbyopia and low refractive vision problems like myopia. TVT is self-administered by the patient in his or her own home. It employs a combination of personalized gas-permeable contact lenses and specially formulated enzymatic eye drops which, when used together, safely modifies the sphericity of the patient's cornea leading to superior vision.
- Innovator of the Year - Small Company: Strongwatch Corporation, Tucson, Arizona
With an initial focus on the tactical mobile surveillance and continuous autonomous surveillance segments of the video surveillance market, Strongwatch was recognized for its integrated products utilizing a common architecture that share several patented or patent pending technologies. The two key products are Freedom On-The-Move (FOTM) and Freedom 360 (F360), used by state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies along with federal law enforcement agencies and emergency responders.
- Innovator of the Year - Large Company: Lumension, Scottsdale, Arizona
Lumension® was recognized for its Endpoint Management and Security Suite ─ a comprehensive platform that takes a proactive approach to endpoint security. It includes patch management, anti-virus, configuration management, power management, application control, device control and asset management. As a result, multiple layers of security are in place and the security management lifecycle is simplified.
- Innovator of the Year – Academia: McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship - University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona
The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship's successful track record in educating students in effective entrepreneurial practice earned this program the GCOI award in the Academia category. Students learn and experience the entrepreneurial process from start to finish as it is one of the only programs in which students create, validate, and implement new ventures. In addition to its innovative curriculum, the Center's cutting-edge research also sets it apart from other programs and has a lasting impact on entrepreneurial education.
"It's an honor to congratulate this year's winners and to celebrate their ongoing corporate excellence," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. "More than ever, companies are expanding to Arizona because of our concentration of high-tech talent and portfolio of successful technology companies. The hard work of these individuals, and the companies they represent, continues to position our state as a leader in technology and innovation."
Tech Ten Legislators:
The Tech Ten awards were given in recognition of Arizona state legislators who have demonstrated outstanding support for promoting and advancing Arizona as a top-tier technology state. Separate awards for "Senator of the Year" and "Representative of the Year" were also presented:
Outstanding Tech Senator of the Year Award Winner: Senator Bob Worsley
Outstanding Tech Representative of the Year Award Winner: Speaker of the House Andy Tobin
The winning Tech Ten legislators are:
Arizona State Senate: Senator John McComish; Senator Don Shooter and Senator Steve Farley.
Arizona House of Representatives: Representative Chad Campbell; Representative Ruben Gallego; Representative Bruce Wheeler; Representative Heather Carter, Representative Jeff Dial; Representative Tom Forese and Representative Thomas "TJ" Shope.