CONNECT honors local innovators

More than 800 of San Diego’s executives, entrepreneurs and academics gathered Friday at Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel for this year’s 22nd annual Most Innovative New Product Awards.

The awards were presented by CONNECT, an economic development program with a focus on high tech and life science innovators in the region.

The MIP awards were selected from 100 entries from within the categories of: action and sport, aerospace and security, clean tech, diagnostics and research tools, medical products, software, hardware and general technology, and communications and information technology.

2009 MIP award winners

  • Action and sport: Neptunic Technologies for Neptech Protective Material, a light weight and clothing-like protective textile used in the manufacturing and design of specialized gear for the action sports and defense industries.
  • Aerospace and security: Intevac Photonics, Inc. for Night Port, a digital night vision viewer which offers extremely low light sensitivity, compact size, low weight and increased power performance for government and surveillance applications.
  • Clean technology: ecoATM for ecoATM, an eCycling Station that automates trade-in and recycling programs for consumer electronics and mobile phone retailers by automatically inspecting used electronics, evaluating the condition and enabling the immediate buy back directly from consumers.
  • Hardware and general technology: Cymer for XLR 600ix, a flexible power excimer laser light source for semiconductor lithography, addressing the market demand for electronic devices requiring smaller and more powerful computer chips.
  • Life science — diagnostics and research tools: Naviscan for the Stereo Navigator Breast Biopsy Accessory, a Positron Emission Tomography guided biopsy tool that enables physicians to guide compatible interventional devices toward abnormalities in the breast.
  • Life science — medical products: SynergEyes for ClearKone, a hybrid contact lens specifically designed for patients with moderate to advanced stages of keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease. ClearKone delivers a significant healthy amount of oxygen to the eye while maintaining a strong bond between the rigid and soft materials.
  • Software: Verance Corporation for Cinavia, a technology platform that employs Verance’s proprietary audio watermarking techniques to enable the enactment of use policies for audiovisual content across a broad range of distribution channels and devices.
  • Communications and IT: Nextivity for Cel-Fi, indoor cellular coverage technology that is network safe, mass deployable, self installable and provides a measurable difference coverage and data throughput.

CONNECT also announced this year’s William W. Otterson Award recipient, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., for the Predator, the most successful unmanned aircraft surveillance program. The award was created in memory of CONNECT’s founder and first executive officer, Bill Otterson. It recognizes technologies or products developed in San Diego that have demonstrated a significant positive impact on quality of life.
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