Innovation Awards the product of experts’ collaboration

Forecasting and fortune telling are risky propositions, as are efforts to predict which horse is going to win a race or what the weather’s going to be like on a certain future day.

That said, there is growing research that suggests that group predictions have a better shot at success than those made by lone prognosticators.

By David L. Politis,1249,595066966,00.html

That’s one of the reasons why I like the now annual Innovations Awards, brainchild of regional business law firm Stoel Rives.

Under the tutelage of Kevin Laurence, patent and intellectual property attorney, with behind-the-scenes assistance from Stoel’s Marketing Director, Lisa Badger, Stoel Rives has developed one of the most prestigious and sought-after business award competitions in the state in just two short years.

And as alluded to above, both the 18 finalists and the six winners were each selected by a panel of 35 experts chosen from a field of government, higher education and private industry.

This year’s Innovation Awards were presented earlier this month before a capacity crowd at the Olpin Student Union building at the University of Utah at the Edison Conference, an annual event produced by the university’s Utah Engineering Experiment Station.

Award winners, listed by category, product/technology name and brief definition, company/organization, city, and Web address, are each listed below.

Biotechnology category: High Resolution Mutation Scanning, technology designed to more easily detect disease-causing mutations in DNA, Idaho Technology and the University of Utah, Salt Lake City,

Computer Software & Web Services category: Forum Systems’ Web Services Security Solutions, a suite of Web services security technologies that protect against information theft and new, hidden online threats, Forum Systems, Salt Lake City,

Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Nutraceuticals category: Flurizan, created by Myriad Genetics , a drug candidate for the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer, Myriad Genetics, Salt Lake City,

Electrical Devices category: CodecSys, a software codec (compression/decompression) that enables the creation of high-quality video and audio transmission at lower bandwidths, Broadcast International,

Mechanical Devices category: CERCANAM, a nano-ceramic that can be used in a broad range of applications such as optical connectors and fire-retardant building materials, Ceramatec, Salt Lake City,

Medical Devices category: CHADD, Controlled Heat-Assisted Drug Delivery, a proprietary heating patch that enhances the delivery of drugs across the skin, ZARS, Salt Lake City,

Terrence Chatwin, Ph.D., director of the UEES, sees great promise for the Innovations Awards winners. "We’re excited about the potential of these Utah innovations to secure SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research grants) and venture funding to further develop their products and take them to market," Chatwin said. "We hope that the Edison Conference and the Innovation Awards help give our emerging high-tech innovators both the visibility and the guidance they need to compete, because we’re poised to be a leading high-tech center."

Also honored at the conference was Dr. Rex Spendlove, recipient of the Pathfinder Award from the UEES. Spendlove founded Logan-based HyClone, a leading manufacturer of cell culture media, sera and bioprocess container systems. HyClone is a subsidiary of Fisher Scientific International (NYSE: FSH) and part of the Perbio Science group.)

David Politis leads Politis Communications, a strategic communications agency that helps maximize corporate value for high-tech and life science companies.

E-mail: [email protected].

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