Winners, finalists honored at Stoel Rives Idaho Innovation Awards

Idaho Business Review | By Zach Hagadone |

Some of the state’s most forward-thinking firms, entrepreneurs and technologies were honored Oct. 29 at the third annual Stoel Rives Idaho Innovation Awards in Boise.

Sponsored by the Idaho Business Review and supported by accounting firm Cooper Norman, the awards program is the only one of its kind in the state, recognizing innovation in a range of industries and from companies of all sizes. This year’s program was expanded to include individual innovators as well as companies.

Categories were: Innovation of the Year/Commercialized Technology, Innovation of the Year/Early-Stage Technology, Innovative Company of the Year and Innovator of the Year. Winners and finalists were selected by a committee of Idaho business and technology leaders, and votes were tallied by accountants at Cooper Norman.

Honorees included:

Innovation of the Year/Commercialized Technology:

Winner – Antibody Profiling Identification (AbP ID), by the Idaho National Laboratory, in Idaho Falls.
Finalist – Motion to Energy Power Generation, by the Idaho National Laboratory and Boise-based research partner M2E Power Inc.
Finalist – M-Vac System, by Microbial-Vac Systems Inc., in Jerome.

Innovation of the Year/Early-Stage Technology:

Winner (tie) –, by Novel Projects Inc., in Boise.
Winner (tie) – IMS Environmental Probe by Boise State University.
Finalist – Kount E-Commerce Fraud-Control Technology, by Kount Inc., also in Boise.

Innovative Company of the Year:

Winner – Keynetics Inc., of Boise.
Finalist – Marketron Broadcast Solutions, of Hailey.
Finalist – Melaleuca, of Idaho Falls.

Innovator of the Year:

Winner – Timothy P. Barber, chief scientist at Keynetics Inc., in Boise.
Finalist – Bruce J. Bradley, CEO of Microbial-Vac Systems Inc., in Jerome.
Finalist – Frank VanderSloot, president and CEO of Melaleuca, in Idaho Falls.

The keynote speaker at the awards luncheon was former CEO of Micron Electronics and current president and CEO of IntelliScience, Joe Daltoso. He honored this year’s winners and finalists, calling them “the companies that are the economic engines that drive the state.”

Paul Boyd, an attorney with Stoel Rives and chairman of the Idaho Innovation Awards, opened the ceremony and made note of Idaho’s robust patent portfolio.

According to a report prepared by Stoel Rives and distributed at the event, 1,433 patents were received in the state in 2007 alone. While the report made note that in 2006 1,528 were received, it said the slight decrease was due to an all-time high level of patents currently pending.

“We recognize the incredible force of innovation that shapes our economy,” Boyd said. “It drives not just the technology sector but all sectors – agriculture, bioscience, retail, manufacturing.”

Daltoso concluded his keynote address with some words of encouragement, recognizing that many companies are struggling with the current state of the economy.

“When I have those sleepless nights worrying about our business… I have to remember that eventually everything comes around,” he said. “If you have leadership and confidence, people will follow that and give you the best chance of success.”